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Life Health > Annuities

A couple of cons

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The Arizona Corporation Commission ordered a Lake Havasu couple who defrauded investors to pay restitution of nearly $720,000 and a penalty of $100,000. The couple raised over $1 million from at least 15 investors, most of whom were senior citizens with winter homes in Arizona. However, neither was registered to sell securities in the state. According to officials, the couple’s solicitation materials never stated how they’d invest client funds to generate the promised profits. Nor did the couple ask prospective clients about their risk profile.

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing approximately $790,000 from clients of his investment firm, which offered specialized financial services for podiatrists. He was also ordered to pay the same amount in restitution to his victims and to surrender his New Jersey insurance license. The private wealth manager admitted he and his live-in business partner stole client funds and used them to buy a Pennsylvania home and to cover their personal expenses. He also admitted providing clients with false monthly statements and dividend checks.

A Utah man was sentenced to one year in jail for stealing more than $237,000 from his aging and blind mother who had entrusted him to help manage her finances. The man pleaded guilty to one third-degree felony count of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult and three third-degree felony counts of theft by deception. The man’s crimes began over 10 years ago when he began forging letters to an insurance company to gain access to his mother’s $80,000 annuity account. When he began managing her finances in 2002, he used her checking account for his own expenses. Several years later, he convinced his mother to obtain a reverse mortgage, but spent most of the mortgage proceeds on himself. He also used his mother’s tax-refund checks and even pawned some of her jewelry.

Harry Lew is the communications and content director for the National Ethics Bureau.


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