Friday, September 1, 2017

An Intimate Look at Ronald Warren Powell

A reader very close to Ronnie Powell of Tom Jones Insurance and Financial Services sent the following. We have edited it slightly to censor some names and relationships:

For the issue concerning Ronald W. Powell (Ronny), T.J.I.F.S.G., Inc., Tom Jones Financial and Financial Services Group. A source close to the investigations tells us:

Powell was indicted on 1 count of insurance fraud and 1 count of Financial Exploitation of an elderly person (FEEP). Both class B felonies.

Powell exploited a 90 year old Muscle Shoals man. Powell persuaded the elderly gentleman to “invest” in what Powell called a “Cash Deposit Account”. Powell would pay the gentleman a 6% guaranteed rate of return that would be added to his CDA. Powell would visit the victim multiple times since 2012 and persuade the victim to “invest” additional funds. Powell and one of his associates also persuaded the victim to liquidate an in force policy to invest with them. Of course, these funds were never invested, they went directly into the pocket of Powell. Not only did the victim lose his money, he also lost a policy that was in force and payable to his beneficiary. When the elderly victim requested his funds, they were not available.

This is absolutely illegal on Powell’s part. The rules and regulations set out by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) one must have specific registrations to act as an investment adviser and invest people’s monies. The Alabama Department of Insurance also has rules and regulations against this type of activity.

Powell is notorious for seeking out the elderly, befriending them and then persuading them he has their best intentions at heart. Powell had an elderly client he called a friend, even spoke at the gentleman’s funeral, and the elderly gentleman had a life insurance policy with Powell. When the gentleman became ill and on his deathbed, Powell had the victim sign some “additional insurance papers to ensure the proceeds would be paid properly”. Unbeknownst to the gentleman’s family, Powell had the beneficiary changed to himself. So when the gentleman passed away, Powell collected the proceeds and left the family with nothing.

Powell would also “borrow money from some of his insurance clients, which is illegal and against the rules and regulations of the Alabama Department of Insurance (ALDOI). He would persuade these victims to loan/invest/help/buy into his company and he would guarantee them a 6%-10% return. He would start small ($5000) and pay back with interest, then ease the request up and pay it back with interest until he was finally able to get them to loan him larger amounts; $50,000, $100,000, and up. Some, because they trusted Powell, loaned him over $1,000,000. A PONZI?

On 3 known occasions, Powell would deliver “death claim proceeds” to beneficiaries, a common practice for life insurance professionals which has now been stopped. And during the delivery, Powell would sell/persuade/coerce the recipient to re-invest the funds with him. The clients believed they were purchasing another insurance product. These products were never purchased and the funds, once again, went into Powell’s pocket.

Powell’s reputation had become so tarnished in the Shoals, he had to move his business elsewhere. He opened offices in Red Bay, AL, Gadsden, AL and now in Charlotte, NC under the name of Blue Financial, Inc., where he is listed as Partner/CEO. He now has enlisted the help of XXXXXX. Does the XXXXXX fall far from the XXXXXX? There are also 3 other young men who are in for a rude awakening.



As to our reader's question about a Ponzi scheme, we're more inclined to call what he described a "convincer." Yes, if Powell ever makes it out of prison, he can go to work for Three Socks. 

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