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Feb 27,2009
Texans lose millions in insurance scheme
by UPI

SAN ANTONIO - A Houston company lured hundreds of older Texans into investing about $30 million in a fraudulent life insurance scheme, state officials say.

The firm, National Life Settlements, has been placed under the permanent receivership of Houston attorney Janet Mortenson and all of its bank accounts have been frozen, the San Antonio Express-News reported Friday.

"The beauty of this fraud scheme was that most of the investors weren't expecting any return for five years," said Mortenson.

State District Judge Scott Jenkins was told at a hearing Thursday that the Texas Securities Board began an investigation of the firm after seeing ads for salesmen and investors on craigslist, the newspaper said.

Jenkins was told about $4 million of investors' money was used by National Life officials Howard Judah of Houston and Gregory Jablonski of Colorado to pay personal expenses, and purchase homes and cars.

Their lawyer, John LaGrappe, argued that the two weren't con artists.

"It was a situation of them not understanding things," he said in the Express-News report.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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