Collinsville man arrested in Fla. after scamming Okla.'s elderly

TULSA - A former Oklahoma insurance agent is behind bars.

Fifty-four-year-old Marshall Virden was arrested in Florida Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators say he stole money from elderly Oklahoma victims in what appeared to be legitimate deals. They believe there could be dozens of victims and many may not yet know they've been scammed.

Virden's wife, Denise Virden, sat down with 2NEWS Wednesday.  She says she's lost everything too because he's very good at what he does.

"I've lost my home, I've lost probably half of my possessions, I'm going to be starting all over again," said Denise Virden.

Six months ago, her husband left on a what she thought was a weekend trip to visit family, and that was the last time she saw him.

"I have not heard his voice or talked with him since that date," said Denise Virden.

After that, things started spiraling out of control.

She says he wasn't paying his bills, he stole her money and insurance investigators started calling.

"I found that he had basically scammed a group of elderly people who trusted him and he was very, very easy to trust," said Denise Virden.

According to court documents, Virden convinced at least one elderly couple to cash out their annuities and buy more than $20,000 worth of gold and he reportedly pocketed the cash.

"He held investment seminars where he would convince people that gold was the place to put your money in this economy," said Michael Copeland, director of the Anti-Fraud Unit with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

There are four other cases where charges are pending and investigators believe there could be dozens more.

"We're not sure of the total number of victims because most of the victims don't yet know they're a victim," said Copeland.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak says victims have nothing to be ashamed of.

"We don't want them to be embarrassed or feel like they did something they shouldn't have, they were taken advantage of," said Doak.

Denise Virden hopes embarrassment doesn't stop anyone from reporting this crime.

"If you were victimized by him, don't be afraid to come forward, if anyone should feel stupid it should be me, I'm his wife, I was married to him for eight years, I thought I knew him," said Denise Virden.

If you've had contact with Marshall Virden and feel you may have been a victim, call the Oklahoma Insurance Department's Anti-Fraud Unit at (405) 521-6614.

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