Wadena insurance agent charged with mail fraud

An insurance agent in Wadena was federally indicted for fraud on Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 56-year-old John David Paulson is charged with two counts of mail fraud.

The allegations state Paulson owned and operated his own agency in Wadena, and, from 2011 and 2018, used a scheme to defraud by stealing money he collected from his clients for their insurance premiums. As part of the scheme, Paulson allegedly provided fake invoices to his clients that inflated the amount of money they owed their insurance companies. Paulson then used most of the clients’ money for his own purposes, including paying his home mortgage and personal credit card bills.

The attorney’s office said Paulson’s scheme left his clients owing large amounts of money to their insurance companies or left them without insurance policies. In total, he’s accused of stealing $524,000 from his clients.

Paulson will make his first court appearance at a later time.