Cases & Deals

Insurance agent obtains reversal of criminal conviction in closely watched case involving sale of annuity products

Clients Neasham, Glenn Andrew

On October 8, 2013, Jones Day obtained the reversal of a criminal conviction in a closely watched case involving the sale of an annuity product by defendant client, Glenn Andrew Neasham. Mr. Neasham was a licensed insurance agent who was charged by the California Attorney General with theft from an elder, after he sold an annuity product to an 83-year old woman. At trial, the California Attorney General argued that, although the annuity product had been approved for sale by the California Department of Insurance, the purchaser's age made it unlikely that she would be able to benefit fully from the annuity's guaranteed payment terms, and thus the sale of this product to her amounted to a "theft" of her personal property. Although the purchaser had asked to purchase the product, the State argued that her consent was invalid in light of concerns about her mental competency.

After Mr. Neasham's conviction, Jones Day was retained to handle the appeal. Jones Day argued that the sale of an annuity product over which the purchaser maintained complete control could not amount to a "theft" of personal property, especially where a refund of the purchase price could be obtained at any time. They also argued that the trial court had committed reversible error in the manner it instructed the jury. The Court of Appeal agreed with all of Jones Day's arguments and, in a published opinion, reversed Mr. Neasham's conviction.

The People of the State of California v. Glenn Andrew Neasham, Case No. A134873 (Cal. App.)