S.D. Man Sent to Prison for 20 Years for Insurance Fraud

December 3, 2007

A former Sioux Falls insurance agent convicted of embezzling money from two clients in nursing homes has been sent to prison for 20 years.

Paul Wentzlaff, 46, pleaded guilty in September to embezzlement and insurance fraud involving $160,000.

He said the two Colton-area men loaned him money for a business venture and gave him permission to use some of it on living expenses.

But Wentzlaff acknowledged he broke the law because he was serving as their insurance agent and financial adviser when he took advantage of them.

One of the men lost $486,000 and the other lost $104,000.

“They’re the perfect victim. These are elderly gentlemen, with no families to speak of, in nursing homes. And they’re wealthy,” said Prosecutor Don Srstka. “They’re the perfect victim for a person like this to prey upon.”

Wentzlaff used $5,200 of the money to buy a watch, and he made several payments, totaling $58,000, to a psychic.

Wentzlaff’s attorney Clint Sargent said Wentzlaff wants to serve his sentence and get back to work so he can pay the victims.

Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

AP-WS-11-30-07 1112EST

Received Id 1131438241 on Nov 30 2007 18:51

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