Former Alabama Alfa Insurance agent admits to defrauding elderly out of life insurance

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A former Alabama insurance agent pleaded to mail fraud for a scheme in which he convinced elderly people to surrender their life insurance policies to him.

The former Alfa agent pleaded guilty Wednesday to mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis.

Bret Chappell, 44, of Warrior, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Anna M. Manasco to one count of mail fraud.

According to the plea agreement, Chappell was a licensed insurance agent working for Alfa Corporation (Alfa) in Hayden, Alabama.

Between 2019 and 2022, Chappell devised a scheme to defraud numerous victims into surrendering existing Alfa life insurance policies for cash value and purchasing new Alfa Life Insurance policies covering the victims.

In one instance, he convinced an elderly victim that Alfa offered certificates of deposit for purchase, when in fact Alfa is not a financial institution and does not offer certificates of deposit.

Nonetheless, Chappell convinced the victim to cash two certificates of deposit from another bank, based on the belief that the victim would receive the product promised by Chappell.

Chappell also prepared fraudulent documents that were purportedly issued by Alfa and delivered these fraudulent documents to the victims. Chappell convinced the victims to endorse the checks issued to them by Alfa.

However, rather than using the funds to purchase legitimate policies covering the victims, Chappell deposited the funds into his personal bank account. In total, Chappell received funds from victims totaling $862,286.55.

The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison.