SACRAMENTO (CN) – A life insurance agent convinced old folks ranging from 75 to 92 years old to invest in real estate but instead took their money, around $350,000, and played the slots, California’s attorney general has charged.
Maria Elna Flora, 59, used the sale of legitimate life insurance policies to gain the confidence of elderly clients 67 to 92 years old, then offered them a chance to get in on a real estate investment that she promised would bring returns of up to 20 percent, according to the Superior Court complaint.
But Flora never made the investments, the state says. She took the money to the Thunder Valley Casino north of her Sacramento home and fed the slots with “almost daily play from January 2005 through August 2007,” Attorney General Gerry Brown said in a statement.
Flora typically made a few interest payments to her investors and then stopped, and put them off with promises, according to the complaint.
Her 10 alleged victims include a 92-year-old Vacaville resident who invested $20,000; an 85-year-old retired West Sacramento teacher who invested $47,000; an 83-year-old Chico resident who gave more than $42,000; and a 76-year-old retired bookkeeper from Elk Grove who handed over $50,000.
Brown filed 92 criminal charges against Flora on June 17, alleging grand theft, embezzlement and burglary. She faces more than 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.