Shoals man charged in insurance scheme that allegedly took millions from elderly customers

Ronald Powell

ATHENS, Ala. — A Muscle Shoals man has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud and financial exploitation of an elderly person, in a case potentially involving millions of dollars, according to the Alabama Department of Insurance.

Ronald Warren Powell, 55, turned himself in to Limestone County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday and was released on bond.

A source with the Alabama Department of Insurance  told WHNT News 19 Powell gained control of millions of dollars under false pretenses from elderly victims who thought they were buying insurance policies, but instead the money went to Powell, according to sources from the Alabama Department of Insurance.

Other victims claimed they were unaware their signatures had been forged and their funds diverted to Powell, according to the insurance department source.

Powell’s Florence-based attorney James Irby said Powell denies any wrongdoing and “absolutely denies” any claim that he gained control of millions of dollars from the sale of false insurance policies. He said those claims go well beyond what is alleged in the Limestone County indictment.

“We are very confident in our position and we certainly are going to aggressively defend against these charge,” Irby said.

Powell had previously been barred from selling financial securities in Alabama in a 2015 action by the Alabama Securities Commission.  Powell had served as chairman and CEO of the Tom Jones Insurance and Financial Services Group in Muscle Shoals, according to the Alabama Securities Commission.

He was indicted on one count of first-degree insurance fraud and one count of financial exploitation of an elderly person.