A federal judge has sentenced a southern Illinois insurance agent to more than seven years in prison and ordered him to repay $1.8 million he allegedly bilked from elderly people.
Lavern Huelsmann of Trenton was sentenced Aug. 2 in East St. Louis, nearly four months after he pleaded guilty to mail fraud and engaging in an unlawful transaction involving more than $10,000.
Federal prosecutors say the 44-year-old Huelsmann was only licensed to sell approved life insurance and fixed-annuity products, but instead peddled sham investments to the elderly.
The indictment alleges Huelsmann used the money on his own investments, building and furnishing his home, gambling and buying gold coins, diamond jewelry and heavy equipment.
With the sentence, Huelsmann forfeited his home, automobile, money in various accounts, equipment, gold coins and assorted jewelry.
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