Des Moines - Zachary James Flaherty, age 48, of Clive was sentenced on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, to 222 months (18.5 years) in prison after pleading guilty to one count of Wire Fraud. Flaherty also received an additional 6 month prison sentence to be served consecutively for one count of Contempt.

Flaherty was charged in April of 2023 by a federal grand jury in Des Moines of using his position as an insurance agent and annuity salesperson and inserting himself into the lives of his victims by building personal relationships to facilitate his scheme of defrauding elderly individuals out of their retirement savings and other monies. 

The case was prosecuted by the Southern District United States Attorney after an investigation by the Iowa Insurance Division Fraud Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with assistance from the Des Moines Police Department, Ankeny Police Department, Clive Police Department, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

Iowa Insurance Division Fraud Bureau special investigators Denise Rudolph and Chris Scanlon as well as Special Agent Kevin Kohler of the FBI were recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa with the Law Enforcement Victim Service Award in April 2024 for their work on this case.

“This case was just one example of many of our efforts to protect citizens of Iowa against fraud,” Iowa Insurance Division Fraud Bureau Chief Matt Mortvedt said. “The Special Investigators exhibited outstanding dedication during this investigation in their unwavering commitment to protect Iowans.”

In May 2022, leading up to the criminal charges, the Iowa Insurance Division Enforcement Bureau filed administrative charges against Flaherty which resulted in the revocation of his insurance producer license in March of 2023. 

In addition to revoking his insurance producer license, Flaherty was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $44,528.42 and $10,000 in costs.  The Iowa Insurance Division distributed the restitution payment to two Iowa consumers impacted by Flaherty’s misconduct.

Iowans with information about insurance fraud are encouraged to contact the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau at 515-654-6556.