Published: Sep 03, 2013 1:55 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - The co-founder of a now-defunct South Florida insurance investment firm has pleaded guilty to charges that he helped orchestrate what became an $800 million fraud scheme.
    
Former Mutual Benefits Corp. vice president Steven Steiner pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire and mail fraud conspiracy in two related cases, a charge carrying a potential 20-year prison sentence. Steiner was previously convicted of money-laundering conspiracy and other charges in a third spinoff case.
    
Mutual Benefits sold investments in life insurance policies held by people with chronic illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. The investor would get paid when the original policyholder died. Steiner admitted promising investors falsely inflated rates of return and making numerous other false promises and guarantees.
    
Trial is scheduled later this month for Steiner's brother and others.

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