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Jun 8, 2013 by |

American Equity Lawsuit

American Equity Sells Deferred Annuities to Seniors

A financial elder abuse lawsuit was brought against American Equity: an investment and annuities company. The complaint alleged that American Equity unethically and fraudulently sold inappropriate deferred annuity policies to seniors. The lawsuit additionally alleges that American Equity marketed and solicited these seniors by way of a “living trust mills” scam.

Deferred annuities are a type of investment policy that requires the investor to pay a premium and then wait for a set period of time before they can access their pay-outs, and are often highly inappropriate for seniors. This is because deferred annuities usually keep the investor’s assets “tied up” and extremely difficult – sometimes impossible – to access without exorbitant fees and charges. In addition, some deferred annuities make the policyholder wait for up to 10 to 20 years before they start receiving payouts: sometimes this exceeds the life expectancy of the senior buying the policy. Deferred annuities are a dubious choice of investment for seniors for the above reasons, yet are often foisted on elders because they yield high commissions to insurance salespeople and investment brokers.

Equity Indexed annuities have payouts whose amount depends on the performance of the stock market. Because no one can accurately predict the stock market, these annuity products are by nature unpredictable as well. One risk of equity-indexed annuities is that if investments in the stock market do poorly, then the annuity payouts will decrease. Other significant risks of equity indexed annuities include high and hidden surrender fees and charges if the policyholder wishes to withdraw from their funds or cancel the annuity policy. Equity indexed annuities, like deferred annuities, may be highly inappropriate for seniors.

Examples of American Equity equity indexed annuity products include (but are not limited to):

  • Advantage Gold
  • Bonus Gold
  • Integrity Gold
  • Lifetime Income Benefit Rider
  • Premier Eagle 10
  • Premier Eagle 12

The ruse of “Living Trust Mills” is a set-up whereby either insurance companies, agents, or marketing organizations host a seminar or “information session” that misleads elderly attendees into believing they need to put their money into a deferred annuity policy. In addition to pressuring elders into purchasing annuities that may be financially inappropriate, the trust mills often contain misleading information about the advertised “low cost” and “high rewards” of deferred annuities.

The lawsuit brought against American Equity was designed to be a class action lawsuit. If you purchased a deferred annuity from American Equity and / or attended a living trust mill seminar, you may be eligible to bring or join a lawsuit.

The Evans Law Firm litigates on behalf of victims of annuities fraud and elder financial abuse in California. If you or a family member was sold a deferred annuity from American Equity and live in California, please contact the Evans Law Firm at 415-441-8669 or e-mail

Lawsuits have been brought against the following insurance companies and banks: AIG Sun America; Allianz Life Insurance Company; American Equity Life Insurance Company; American International Group; American National Insurance Company; Conseco Life Insurance Company; Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance Company; Forethought Financial Group; Jackson National Life Insurance Company; National Western Life Insurance Company; Prudential Insurance Company of America; Standard Life Insurance Company of Indiana.

The following insurance companies and banks are known to sell deferred annuities to senior citizens:

  • AIG Annuity Insurance Company
  • AIG Sun America
  • Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
  • Allstate Financial
  • American Equity Life Insurance Company
  • American General
  • American International Group
  • American Investors / AVIVA
  • American National Insurance Company
  • Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company
  • Bank of America
  • Conseco Life Insurance Company
  • EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
  • Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
  • Forethought Financial Group
  • Genworth Financial
  • Great American Life Insurance Company / Great American Financial
  • Hartford Life Insurance Company
  • Jackson National life Insurance Company
  • John Hancock Life Insurance Company
  • Lincoln Financial Life and Group Insurance Jefferson Pilot
  • Metlife Insurance Company
  • Midland National Life Insurance Company
  • National Western Life Insurance Company
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Prudential Insurance Company of America
  • Standard Life Insurance Company
  • Standard Life Insurance Company of Indiana
  • Sun Life Insurance Company of Canada Sun Life Financial
  • Symetra Financial
  • Transamerica Life Insurance Company
  • Washington Mutual
  • Western-Southern Financial
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