A California man was arrested for holding a New York-based life insurer at virtual gunpoint. A client of the insurer, the man was upset with the performance of his variable-universal life policy. Authorities say he initially demanded $200,000, then increased the amount to $3 million. If the company didn’t comply, he threatened to send damaging e-mails to 6 million married couples with children. If convicted, the man faces up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The owner of a New York investment advisory firm was charged with securities and wire fraud in connection with an alleged $17.5 million scam. Authorities claim the advisor and four of his employees used high-pressure tactics and lies to sell advisory services to seniors. Among the deceptions were claims that financier George Soros endorsed the firm, that it oversaw hedge funds from a Wall St. location (its offices were in a Staten Island strip mall), and that it could generate 483 percent returns in less than two months.