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Aug 20, 2021 by |

San Diego Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: California And FINRA Accuse Insurance Agent Of Swindling Elder Investors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Civil Complaint Alleges Older Victims Lost Life Savings

Agent Allegedly Sold Unregistered Promissory Notes

FINRA Bars Defendant As Registered Financial Advisor

Financial elder abuse by financial advisors, brokers, and insurance agents may be a one-time sale or unauthorized trade or it can be a sustained scheme taking more over time from a single older investor or from numerous older investors.  Where numerous elderly investors are targeted the schemes can be quite complex as in the reported insurance agent/Ponzi scheme case discussed below.  Whether the abuse is a single transaction or a series of transactions, the consequences for the defrauded senior can be devastating, often wiping out a lifetime of savings and maybe even losing the senior’s home to the abuser.  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents seniors and their families in Sn Diego or elsewhere in California who have suffered any kind of economic loss as the result of financial elder abuse from any actor, be it a caregiver, insurance agent, stock broker, financial advisor, trustee or a complete stranger to the victim.  We will pursue every available remedy against all persons responsible including an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for the victim or family who has to sue to get their money back from the offenders.  If you have, call our lawyers today at (415)441-8669.  Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Insurance Agent’s Alleged Ponzi Scheme[1] 

A recently filed civil lawsuit against a California insurance agent alleges that the agent ran fraudulent scheme against a number of elderly Californians, many of whom lost their life savings to the scheme. The victims are also suing the insurance company the agent represented for failing to supervise the agent in accordance with California law and FINRA rules.  The complaint alleges that the agent lured older investors into investing life insurance proceeds, retirement funds, and other assets in the purchase of unregistered promissory notes. According to the complaint, the agent represented the life insurance carrier for 24 years.  Plaintiffs claim the agent coaxed then to purchase life insurance policies and to borrow money from these policies to invest further in promissory notes issued by the agent, his son, or entities they controlled. The plaintiffs say they lost their life savings after the agent stopped paying interest and principal on the notes. One of the Plaintiffs was also allegedly forced to surrender her life insurance policy due to her inability to pay the premiums after the default on the notes. 

In addition to the civil action, three FINRA complaints were brought against the agent.  Two of the cases have settled.  FINRA has reportedly sanctioned the agent from associating with any FINRA member firm after he allegedly failed to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation and requests for information

Red Flags Of A Ponzi Scheme 

The agent lured the elder consumers in this case into a classic Ponzi scheme, where new investors paid off (or in part) the investments of the older investors, and in reality there was no underlying investment of value.  Before investing in any new venture, check for classic warning signs of a Ponzi scheme:

  • Promises of High Returns with Little or No Risk. Guaranteed high investment returns are the hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. Every investment has risk, and the potential for high returns usually comes with high risk. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Unlicensed and Unregistered Sellers. Most Ponzi schemes involve individuals or firms that are not licensed or registered. Even if an investment professional comes across as likeable or trustworthy, use the free search tool on gov to check whether the person is licensed and registered. Also do a broker check at BrokerCheck – Find a broker, investment or financial advisor (finra.org).
  • Overly Consistent Returns. Investment values tend to fluctuate over time. Be skeptical of an investment that generates steady positive returns regardless of market conditions. That was one of the hallmarks of Bernie’s Madoff’s huge Ponzi scheme.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Ponzi scheme or other form of financial elder abuse by an insurance agent, stock broker, investment advisor, promoter or other person here in San Diego or elsewhere in California contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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