September 12, 2014

Florida Pastor Sentenced for Insurance Fraud Scam

RICHMOND, VA—Nathaniel A. McNeil, 46, of Pensacola, Florida, was sentenced today to 68 months in prison, followed by a three year termof supervised release, for engaging in a life insurance scheme with at least 1,249 victims. McNeil was also ordered to pay $32,835 in restitution to identified victims.

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Gary Barksdale, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

McNeil pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud on June 12, 2014. According to court documents, he was the founder and president of an entity called Life Transformation Ministries International (or “LTMI”), which purported to be a non-profit, religious organization. From 2009 through August 2011, McNeil, with the help of his co-conspirator Trudi Batiste, promised LTMI members a universal life insurance policy in exchange for a one-time fee of approximately $25. To further his scheme, McNeil also attempted to defraud several insurance companies by misrepresenting in insurance applications the net worth of his ministry and that applicants were actually his employees. Ultimately, McNeil and Batiste obtained nearly $240,000 from at least 1,249 victims across the country. None of the individuals that paid the fee ultimately obtained a life insurance policy. Instead, McNeil and Batiste used the money for their own personal purposes.

Batiste pled guilty to the mail fraud on May 8, 2014, and is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Hudson on September 30, 2014.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Katherine Lee Martin prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:14-cr-43.