ST. GEORGE — A Southern Utah insurance agent who admitted to collecting commissions from more than two dozen fraudulent life insurance applications was sentenced on 11 felony charges Thursday, where the judge made it clear there would be no more chances of leniency going forward.
Michael Craig Nebeker, 40, of Santa Clara, appeared in 5th District Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to two second-degree felony counts of a fraudulent insurance act and one count of the same charge that was amended to a third-degree felony in December. He also pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and seven counts of identity fraud crimes, each a third-degree felony.
The state agreed to drop 22 charges, including one second-degree count of pattern of unlawful activity and one count of a fraudulent insurance act, along with 20 third-degree felony counts of identity fraud crimes in exchange for a guilty plea.
Nebeker admittedly wrote over 25 applications for life insurance under multiple companies, including Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance, Colombian Life Insurance Company, Americo Financial Life and Farm Bureau Insurance by obtaining and then using the personal information of multiple individuals to apply for life insurance policies.
“The applications in question were all written without the person named on the applications permission,” Nebeker admitted to in the plea agreement signed by the defendant Dec. 12.
Using false addresses and fake bank account information, Nebeker would receive commissions upfront when the fraudulent applications were filed. The scheme was discovered after individuals told insurance companies that they hadn’t requested, applied for or signed life insurance policies.