AG Gansler: Former D.C. Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty to Felony Theft
Annuities salesman scammed his employer for $86,000
Baltimore, MD (March 25, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Thomas Ray Femister, 52, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft scheme having a value over $500. Sentencing is scheduled for May 13 before Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Michael D. Mason.
"This individual attempted to pull the wool over his employer's eyes with this get-rich-quick scheme," said Attorney General Gansler. "It is important that this type of crime is prosecuted to send a message to would-be thieves that they will be held accountable."
The investigation revealed that in September 2008, Mr. Femister purchased an annuity for himself by issuing a personal check to Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Sun Life) in the amount of $79,000. At the time, Femister was a Maryland licensed insurance agent appointed by Sun Life to sell annuities. Femister received a commission of $7,110 from Sun Life for the sale of the annuity to himself. After receiving the commission, Femister cancelled the annuity and received a refund from Sun Life in the amount of $79,000. Sun Life provided the refund before learning Femister's personal check was returned for insufficient funds and that Femister requested a stop payment on the check. The commission and refund netted Femister a total of $86,110 in stolen funds. After a number of requests from Sun Life, Femister returned $29,000, but spent the remaining $57,110.
This conviction follows a joint investigation by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Office of the Attorney General. Attorney General Gansler thanked the Maryland State Police for their assistance in this case.