A Mount Ida, Ark., man has pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud and prosecutors say he’ll serve five years in prison followed by supervised release and must pay back more than $7 million in restitution.
But federal prosecutors said that if 57-year-old Steven Alan Standridge paid back at least 80 percent of the restitution owed before he’s sentenced, he could get a three-year prison sentence instead.
Standridge was accused of buying insurance policies as collateral for premium finance loans and then later canceling the policies or would never purchase the policies listed on the premium finance agreements.
The proceeds of those loans were ultimately paid to Standridge and were used for purposes other than those set out in the loan agreements, prosecutors alleged.
Standridge had operated several insurance agencies across the state. He previously pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges, after he was indicted in 2012 on charges of bank fraud, conspiring to commit bank fraud, making a false statement to a financial institution, aiding and abetting bank fraud and money laundering.
Standridge was the founder of the Steve Standridge Insurance Inc. based in Mount Ida. Arkansas’ Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford in March 2010 suspended Standridge’s resident producer license on allegations that he falsified collateral used to purchase another insurance organization and improperly retained and kept premium financing for a commercial client.
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