California man sentences in court in Va. to 6 ½ years in prison for role in insurance scheme

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RICHMOND, Virginia — A California man has been sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for his role in a life insurance scheme involving nearly 1,000 people across the country.

Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Joseph Giovanni Santiago also was ordered Friday in U.S. District Court in Richmond to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution to two insurance companies.

The Los Angeles man pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

According to court documents, Santiago was the founder of an entity that purported to provide faith-based debt restructuring and other services, as well as a separate non-profit, religious organization.

He admitted that he and his conspirators recruited individuals to make false applications for life insurance and collected the advanced commissions paid for the sale of the policies.

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