June 27, 2014
Joplin, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that a Jasper County jury has found Jeffrey Wolfson of Osage Beach guilty of five felony and two misdemeanor counts for scamming three Joplin homeowners following the devastating May 2011 tornado. The Attorney General’s Office assisted Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
According to Koster, Wolfson operated Insurexx, LLC, a Lebanon, Missouri-based company that offered insurance claim adjusting and home repair services to consumers with homes damaged by the Joplin tornado. Wolfson's company acted as an insurance adjuster without first obtaining a Missouri license from the Department of Insurance. He and his company then accepted insurance proceeds and personal checks from three Joplin homeowners, promising to begin repair work on their homes. Ultimately, Insurexx never completed the home repairs or returned the homeowners' payments.
Jurors found Wolfson guilty of two felony counts of stealing, three felony counts of unlawful merchandising practices, and two misdemeanor counts of public adjusting without a license.
At the trial's outset, the court determined that Wolfson was a prior and persistent offender for multiple previous convictions, including five felonies of unlawful merchandising practices in 2000. Because of his prior and persistent offender status, Wolfson faces up to fifteen years on each of the two felony stealing counts, and up to seven years each on the three felony unlawful merchandising practices counts. Sentencing is scheduled for September 8th.
Wolfson's partner in the Insurexx scam, Gloria Diane Schoeller, pled guilty in 2013, paid full restitution totaling more than $24,000 to the three Joplin-area homeowners, cooperated in the prosecution of Wolfson, and received four years of probation.
"My office has aggressively prosecuted scam artists who took advantage of the people of Joplin following the 2011 tornado," said Koster. "In this instance, we were able to get victims their money back, and obtain multiple felony verdicts against the main perpetrator of the scam."