New York regulators have announced that former insurance agents Cynthia Gibbons aka Cynthia Bulinski, 48, and Kellie Will, 47 were sentenced to jail time and restitution for swindling $400,000 from elderly clients.
The agents, who had scams in place to steal approximately $2.4 million, fraudulently changed beneficiary information on annuity contracts.
According to investigators, the pair admitted that Gibbons, an investment advisor, sold annuities and then changed beneficiary information to Will who received payouts when the clients died. Gibbons and Will would than split the proceeds. Gibbons also received commissions on the sales.
A funeral director notified authorities because he was suspicious of a death certificate request by the pair for one of Gibbons’ clients. The pair wanted the certificate so Will could make a claim as the beneficiary of the annuity. The investigation ultimately led to their arrest.
Gibbons was employed at a Key Bank for 10 years before becoming an independent broker/dealer with J.W. Cole Financial. Previously, she was also associated with Cadaret Grant, another investment advisory firm. Her licensed was revoked in December.
Will was a Key Bank employee and her license expired in 1997.