Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe during a forum at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., on Oct. 10. (Steve Helber/AP)

Ken Cuccinelli II launched a television ad Friday that blasted Terry McAuliffe, his rival in the governor’s race, for investing with a Rhode Island estate planner convicted of preying on terminally ill people.

“Corrupt insider Terry McAuliffe made millions while workers lost jobs and pensions,” a female narrator begins, as images of bed-ridden patients begin to flash on the screen. “Now, a shocking new discovery: Court documents reveal Terry McAuliffe invested in an insurance scam that preyed on dying people. They stole the identities of the terminally ill then cashed in when they passed away. Profiting off the terminally ill? Is that the kind of man you want as your governor?”

Cuccinelli (R) began airing the 30-second spot, titled “Despicable,” just two days after McAuliffe’s name surfaced in federal court documents on a list of dozens of people who had invested with Joseph A. Caramadre.

Caramadre has pleaded guilty to using the stolen identities of terminally ill people to defraud insurers of millions and is awaiting sentencing.

There has been no indication that McAuliffe (D) or other investors were aware that Caramadre was stealing identities. But Caramadre’s former lawyer has said that investors were aware that he was exploiting a loophole that would allow investors with no insurable interest in the ailing individuals to receive death benefits when they died.

“This ad is despicable and the latest sign that Ken Cuccinelli is resorting to desperate and false attacks to make up for the fact that he is one of the most disliked statewide candidates in memory,” McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said. “Terry was one of hundreds of passive investors several years ago and had no idea about the horrible allegations against the defendant. Ken Cuccinelli is desperately trying to distract voters from his extreme agenda of standing with the architect of the government shutdown while Virginia’s economy suffers.”

When asked about Caramadre an event in Richmond on Thursday, McAuliffe himself said: “I was a passive investor in a life insurance annuity pool.”