Insurance agent sentenced for stealing funds, buying Maserati and jewelry

Posted at 12:15 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 17:49:19-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego insurance agent who cheated 15 victims out of nearly $1.5 million was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison.

Shawn Heffernan, 43, pleaded guilty in February to 29 felony counts of fraud and other charges, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

Heffernan would often convince clients to surrender existing life insurance policies and purchase new ones. The practice, known as “churning” or “twisting”, led to hefty commissions for Heffernan and steep penalties for clients, prosecutors said. 

Heffernan also collected investment funds and spent them on personal items including a Maserati, jewelry, and a lavish wedding, according to the District Attorney. 

Eight of Heffernan’s victims were senior citizens.

“Stealing money from investors, and defrauding them out of their hard-earned savings, especially when some of the victims are senior citizens, is disgraceful and will not be tolerated,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said.