A former Mount Pleasant resident accused of faking terminal leukemia in order to collect $500,000 appeared alive and well, but reportedly indigent, in federal court Tuesday morning.
Jennifer Lynn Eden, who now lives in Myrtle Beach and answers to the married name of Jennifer Lynn Grooms, pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud at the arraignment hearing. She wore a sleeveless cream-colored top and a red print skirt, as she requested that a public defender be appointed to represent her.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant set an unsecured bail of $50,000, meaning Eden did not have to post money, and limited her travel to places within the state. Marchant also appointed Eden a public defender, noting her Mount Pleasant home in Planter’s Pointe as a mortgage debt.
The first count against her charges that 33-year-old Eden took out a $1 million term life insurance plan from the Genworth Life Insurance Co. in 2003. It carried a $520 annual premium and, according to an indictment, Eden could receive an early payment of the death benefit if the owner “had a life expectancy of six months or less.”
In 2008 Eden applied for the benefit, saying she was dying of acute monoblastic leukemia, the indictment said. Authorities allege that Eden never suffered from a terminal illness and forged the name of a real doctor on her application for the benefits.
The other count against her involves allegations that she represented herself as a “highly successful financial expert and businesswoman” in convincing an unidentified person to invest $100,000 in her company, Entsminger Holdings LLC. Eden promised the man that his investment would remain safe in an escrow account until she provided $4 million to trade securities on his behalf, the indictment said.
She instead spent the money, according to the indictment.
Eden faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or [/URL]