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Unum sales vp pleads guilty to fraud charges

Posted On: Dec. 28, 2006 12:00 AM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn.--James Michael Foley, a vp of sales for UnumProvident Corp., recently pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to group product sales, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Mr. Foley sold policies to about 10 employers and directed UnumProvident's underwriting department to name a friend of his as the broker of record and to pay a commission, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District said in a Dec. 21 statement.

Policies sold by Mr. Foley normally did not generate a commission, but he received 90% of the commissions paid to his friend and altered documents to conceal the scheme from employers, according to the statement.

Mr. Foley no longer works for UnumProvident and faces up to 23 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 23, the U.S. Attorney's office said in its statement.

A spokeswoman for UnumProvident said the problem came to light following New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer's investigation into insurance commission payments. Disability and life insurance are the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based insurer's largest-selling group products.