Tuesday, June 23, 2009
California Woman Fleeces Retirees Out Of At Least $350K
Maria Elna Flora, 59, of Sacramento, California, was arrested last week on charges she bilked several elderly retirees out of at least $350,000 in retirement savings. Flora, a licensed life insurance agent, sold annuities to her clients and then steered them into fraudulent real estate investments, according to prosecutors. Specifically, from January 2005 through August 2007, Flora allegedly convinced at least ten individuals living in Yolo, Butte, El Dorado, Sacramento, Solano, and Stanislaus counties to invest between $5,000 and $88,000 in the sham real estate investments. Flora promised returns of between 10 and 20 percent, made some initial payments, promising to return the funds at a later date. Prosecutors also contend that Flora spent the ill-gotten gains on a gambling habit, primarily at the Thunder Valley Casino. She is facing 92 charges, including grand theft, embezzlement and burglary.