NU Online News Service, Oct. 28, 2004, 3:55 p.m. EDT

Pennsylvania Attorney General Jerry Pappert has filed a civil lawsuit in Commonwealth Court accusing 16 defendants with an elaborate statewide living trust sales scheme.[@@]

The defendants allegedly deceived older Pennsylvanians into buying revocable living trusts, long-term annuities or charitable gift annuities that, according to the attorney general, were “costly, not in their best interest or unnecessary.”

The alleged victims suffered between $1,800 and $80,000 in losses, the attorney general charges.

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Along with the complaint, Pappert filed a preliminary injunction in Commonwealth Court seeking to ban the defendants from engaging in the unlawful advertising, promotion or sale of estate planning products or services in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit and preliminary injunction followed a nine-month investigation by agents from the attorney general’s charitable trusts and organizations section.