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Criminal Justice

Lawyer Admits Providing ‘Legal Cover’ in Fraudulent Sale of AIDS Life Insurance Policies

Posted May 20, 2011 5:29 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Florida lawyer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the fraudulent sale of life insurance policies held in the names of AIDS patients.

Michael McNerney of Fort Lauderdale admitted he provided “legal cover” to help top executives with Mutual Benefits Corp. lure investors to buy the policies purchased from AIDS patients, the Miami Herald reports. McNerney said he plotted with the executives to mislead investors about the life expectancy of the AIDS patients and the risks of the investment, according to a factual statement filed with the federal court in Miami.

Colleagues were said to be stunned in 2009 when they learned of the charges against McNerney in connection with the alleged scheme. The case against another Fort Lauderdale lawyer charged in the case, Anthony Livoti, is still pending.

The Miami Herald says the alleged scam is one of Florida’s largest fraud prosecutions, ranking behind the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme by former lawyer Scott Rothstein.

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