COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A federal grand jury has charged a Mason family in a 33-count indictment that alleges they bought fraudulent life insurance policies, laundered nearly $3 million and bought a Bentley.
Mitch G. Stevenson, 53, Patricia Stevenson, 57, and their daughter Candace G. Stevenson, 30, were charged with conspiring to launder money and money laundering.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman and Ryan Korner, special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, announced the indictment Wednesday.
The indictment alleges the family fraudulently purchased two life insurance policies in 2009, insuring another relative for a combined $2.9 million.
The policy application falsely stated the relative had never been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure or ulcers, among other conditions, authorities said. The policy also said the relative had not had any medication in the 12 months before the application was filed. The family reported the person’s weight at 170 pounds, when the person actually weighed about 375 to 400 pounds, federal officials said.
A medical examination was required as part of the application process. Glassman said that an unknown person in Sugar Land, Texas claimed to be the relative at the exam. She met the description in the applications, Glassman said, and weighed 176 pounds.
“Three weeks earlier, the actual relative was weighed in a Cincinnati emergency room at 387 pounds,” Glassman said.
Amendments were made to name Patricia and Candace Stevenson beneficiaries of the two policies in early 2011. The relative died a year later, and West Coast Life Insurance Company issued a $1.5 million check to Patricia Stevenson and a $1.4 million check to Candace Stevenson.
The family then engaged in a series of transactions “allegedly designed to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the life insurance fraud," federal officials said in a news release.
They purchased a 2012 Bentley GT Convertible for about $247,000 and used about $284,000 as a down payment on a land contract on a home in Mason. They also spent about $16,000 at World of Decor and nearly $33,000 at Facet Jewelry.
Those convicted of money laundering conspiracy could face up to 20 years in prison, and money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Glassman said Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Glenn-Applegate is prosecuting the case.