The Enumclaw life insurance salesman who was arrested and charged with wire fraud last summer, and who had apparently been trying to fake his own death, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to seven years in prison, three years of supervised release and $5,705,023.49 in restitution, according to court records.
Aaron Travis Beaird taken into custody in July 2012. In late August, he pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the duration of Beaird's prison term.
According to charging papers, Beaird "knowingly devised a scheme and artifice to defraud investors and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises."
A press release issed Friday after the sentencing from the office of U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said that for about 10 years, Beaird held himself out as a financial advisor to friends and family and members of his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Beaird was trusted as a leader of the church, but instead of investing conservatively in annuities and life insurance products, he engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by falsely representing those annuity products and life insurance policies and in some cases appropriating annuity payments and policy premiums directly to his personal use. Beaird created false account statements that he provided to his clients making them believe their funds were safely invested and would be available when they needed them. (Read the press release here.)
Last summer, prosecutors alleged he defrauded at least five clients of about $2 million. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Thursday that figure has gone up to about $6 million after further investigation. Beaird reportedly wrote in a letter to the court, “I had everything going for me in life, such high hopes, a beautiful family and good intentions. Not a day goes by that I haven’t wished I could go back and make things right.”
Read the initial story from Patch of Beaird's arrest.