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Bradenton CPA pleads guilty to defrauding clients

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 1:03 PM EDT
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TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Bradenton CPA and insurance agent has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud elderly victims of more than $6 million in an investment scheme.

Kenneth Murry Rossman, 63, filed the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, of changes of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of a false income tax return. He faces a maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison.

Rossman allegedly conspired with Phillip Roy Wasserman, a former lawyer and insurance agent, in convincing elderly investors to put their money into Wasserman’s new insurance venture, “FastLife.” Victims often were persuaded to liquidate traditional investments, such as annuities, and/or to borrow funds against existing life insurance policies to generate cash to invest in the venture.

Investors were not told about surrender fees and other costs associated with the liquidations, and Rossman prepared income tax returns for the investors that hid negative personal tax consequences from both the investors and the Internal Revenue Service.

Wasserman allegedly paid Rossman a percentage for his role in the conspiracy. Prosecutors say Wasserman spent a significant amount of the victim-investors’ money to finance a lavish lifestyle that included luxury residences, high-end vehicles, jet skis, jewelry, personal celebrity entertainment, gambling, retail shopping, home improvements, personal insurance, and many other expenses for his personal benefit and the benefit of family members.

In November 2020, Wasserman was charged in a superseding indictment with filing false income tax returns, tax evasion, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and substantive counts of wire fraud and mail fraud. His case is currently set for trial in December.

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