LANSING (WWJ) – A Detroit-area insurance agent who bilked seniors out of $800,000 over seven years has pleaded guilty to his crimes.
Paul Garceau, Jr., of Grosse Pointe Park, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by an agent greater than $100,000, a 20-year felony, and two counts of embezzlement by an agent between $50,000 and $100,000, a 15-year felony. He also agreed to pay $613,199 in restitution.
“If you take advantage of Michigan seniors, there are consequences,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statment. “Today’s guilty plea is the first step toward closure and financial assistance for those hurt by this crime.”
Garceau had his Michigan insurance producer license revoked on February 16, 2016 by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services; Garceau’s company, Apex, also had its license revoked on that day.
An investigation began in October 2014, when Michigan State Police responded to an embezzlement and forgery complaint. A subsequent investigation by DIFS allegedly yielded more evidence of Garceau’s scheme. The charges were brought in Macomb County.
Between January 2008 and January 2015, Garceau embezzled $800,918.00 of his clients’ funds without their knowledge or consent, many of whom were elderly. The 12 victims live in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.
Garceau convinced his victims to withdraw funds from legitimate investments, stating he would reinvest their funds in more lucrative opportunities with higher returns. Instead, Garceau deposited the funds into his company’s account, spending the money on himself or to further his Ponzi scheme.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 12.