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Ex-investment manager accused of defrauding NC Mutual Life Insurance Co. out of $34 million

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors accused a former investment manager in connection with a scheme to defraud a North Carolina life insurance company once recognized as a cornerstone of what was known as “Black Wall Street” out of more than $34 million.

Bradley Reifler, 61, of Milbrook, New York, was charged with wire fraud and perjury, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.

According to the indictment, Reifler was an investment advisor for more than $34 million in assets belonging to NC Mutual Life Insurance Co., which was developed in Durham, North Carolina, in 1898 to serve a Black community which couldn’t get service from more established companies.

Rather than investing the money, the indictment said Reifler put it into self-dealing investments and otherwise diverted funds for his personal and business use. The indictment also said that after a 2016 audit of the trust assets raised concerns about his investments, Reifler hid the fraud by falsifying documents and leading others to do the same.

That loss led the company to be taken over by the N.C. Department of Insurance.

The perjury charge involves Reifler saying under oath in response to a civil suit that all his investments had been approved, the news release said.

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