Epworth man accused of money laundering and fraudulent sales practices

A former Epworth insurance agent is facing multiple charges stemming from an investigation beginning in 2019.

Michael J. Heiberger, 52, has been arrested on charges of money laundering, six counts of fraudulent sales practices and nine counts of violating a cease-and-desist order.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Iowa Insurance Fraud Bureau, while acting as an insurance producer, Heiberger altered customers’ premium payment schedules and amounts in order to use the funds for unauthorized business and personal expenses.

Court documents state Heiberger deposited $13,284 into personal and business accounts and also transferred money from two of his accounts to his juvenile son’s account between July 24, 2018 and March 10.

“Of this money, $6,215 was clearly identified being transferred from the business account to the juvenile son’s account and then directly into Heiberger’s personal account,” court documents state. “This was an attempt to conceal or disguise the source of funds going into Heiberger’s personal account.”

The complaint also alleges Heiberger continued to act as an insurance producer without a license in violation of a cease-and-desist order issued by the Iowa Insurance Division on May 1.

Documents state at least six customers were victims of Heiberger’s scheme, but ultimately no customer took a financial loss due to the insurance company carrying the debt of unpaid premiums.