Arkansas Insurance Company Owner Sentenced to 6 Years

October 27, 2008

The owner of a Little Rock, Ark., insurance company has been sentenced to six years in prison on a federal fraud conviction, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Frank Whitbeck, 61, also was ordered to pay $3.8 million restitution and was fined $12,000. He will be on three years’ supervision after serving his prison term, according to the sentencing order of U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson.

Whitbeck pleaded guilty May 8 to one count of mail fraud. He is to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on Dec. 1.

Prosecutors say Whitbeck defrauded the Arkansas Insurance Department and policyholders of his Signature Life Insurance Company of America Inc. They say he submitted false information to the department, misrepresenting the amount of required reserves the company had to pay potential claims.

Whitbeck claimed his company had made secured loans, when actually he had diverted the money to other business interests and to himself, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

The company has been placed in receivership.

Whitbeck’s father, also named Frank Whitbeck, sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor in 1968, finishing fifth in a field of six candidates in the party primary.

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