2 Lose Appeal in Florida Insurance Scam

ATLANTA (AP) - Two men sentenced for cheating investors out of
more than $100 million have failed to convince an appeals court
they were unfairly convicted of mail fraud.

A federal jury in Pensacola, Fla., found David W. Svete and Ron Girardot guilty in 2005 of fraud and other crimes through sales of
viaticals, life insurance policies on people supposed to be terminally ill. The insured remained alive, and more than 3,000 investors lost money in companies run by Svete and Girardot.

The pair argued that a "person of ordinary prudence" would not have fallen for the scheme. They wanted the trial judge to instructjurors that mail fraud required such a victim.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the instruction wasn't necessary.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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