Four years ago, Jennifer L. Eden told her insurance carrier that she was dying of leukemia, had less than six months to live and wanted to collect on her death benefits while she could, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors said Eden was never really sick and that it was all part of an elaborate hoax. She is accused of fraudulently receiving $500,000.
The 33-year-old Mount Pleasant woman was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on two counts of fraud that could land her in jail for years if convicted.
Eden faces her first court appearance May 22 in an arraignment scheduled for the U.S. District Courthouse on Broad Street.
Attempts to reach Eden Wednesday were unsuccessful. Her phone has been disconnected at her residence in the Planter’s Pointe subdivision. Her attorney described her as a housewife and longtime South Carolina resident who is now living in the Upstate.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart declined to comment Wednesday on behalf of the government.
According to the court filing, Eden’s policy dates to 2003 when she obtained a $1 million term life insurance policy from the Genworth Life Insurance Co. It carried a $520 annual premium.
Under the policy’s terms, Eden could receive an early payment of the death benefit if the owner “had a life expectancy of six months or less,” the indictment reads.
The condition must have been certified by an attending physician. The setup is known as an accelerated death benefit.
In 2008 Eden applied for the benefit, saying she was dying of acute monoblastic leukemia, the indictment said.
Authorities allege that she was never terminally sick and forged the name of a real doctor on her application for the benefits.
She received about $500,000 from Genworth, “even though she did not suffer from leukemia and was not terminally ill as she falsely represented,” the filing said.
The leukemia fraud charge is not the only trouble Eden faces. A second count against her covers allegations that she represented herself as a “financial expert and businesswoman” in convincing an unidentified victim to invest $100,000 in her company, Entsminger Holdings LLC.
She is then accused of misappropriating that money for personal use.
The alleged victim is listed only as “M.C.” in the indictment.
Eden’s lawyer, Nelson Chase of Mount Pleasant, said he had not seen the indictment and could not comment much about the allegations.
Eden is charged with mail fraud and wire fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on both counts.