In October 2011, a former Agent for Hartford and Nationwide Life Insurance companies pled guilty to charges of theft and received a 10-year prison sentence. By Matthew J. Ryan’s own admission, he exploited weaknesses in the insurance companies’ practices and procedures in order to steal from the variable annuity contracts Hartford and Nationwide issued to his clients.
Ryan created fake companies and bogus “transfer forms” which he had his clients sign. The bogus forms gave Ryan the ability to divert funds from his customers’ variable annuities and, ultimately, into his own accounts. Hartford and Nationwide honored thousands of Ryan’s transfer requests, despite the fact that the fraudulent documents were obviously illegitimate. The fraudulent documentation was not detected until 2010. By that time, however, the former
agent had diverted an excess of $3M over a period of five years.
Two additional insurance companies have settled claims made by Ryan’s fixed variable annuity customers. Currently, combined suits of more than $3M against Nationwide and Hartford are pending.
Are you a former client of Mathew J. Ryan? Do you believe that your variable annuity contract assets have been or are being illegally diverted or invested unsuitably? If the answer to any of
these questions is yes, contact investment fraud lawyer Daniel Carlson at Carlson Law in San Diego for a free consultation. As an experienced investment recovery attorney, Mr. Carlson may be able to help you recoup all or part of financial loss.
Tags: Annuity (US financial products), Business, Contract, financial loss, Financial services, fraud, Insurance, investment fraud lawyer, investment recovery attorney, Life annuity, Matthew J. Ryan, San Diego, variable annuities, variable annuity, variable annuity contracts
Posted in Broker Fraud, Fiduciary Duty Breach, Investment Fraud, Securities Arbitration, Securities Fraud, Securities Litigation, Stock Loss | Comments (1)
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In early May 2011 Robin Carnahan, Missouri’s Secretary of State, announced that A.G. Edwards & Sons LLC will pay $755,000 in order to settle charges that they improperly handled annuity sales. The investment firm, now a part of Wells Fargo Advisors, purportedly sold variable annuities to elderly customers sans proper documentation.
The State of Missouri Investigates AG Edwards
An investigation by the Securities Division of the State of Missouri into the conduct of AG Edwards began after a client reported “irregularities” following the liquidation of his variable annuity.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that the firm sold variable annuities to elderly investors without maintaining proper records of the transactions. Because proper documentation was lacking, the annuity sales were not in compliance with the company’s own policies and Missouri state law.
Investors Are Compensated
Approximately 31 investors were impacted by this lack of due diligence on the part of the brokerage firm. In compensation, AG Edwards will pay them $381,993. They will also pay for the costs of the investigation and contribute $375,000 to the Missouri State Investor Education and Protection Fund.
In an April 2011 press release, Carnahan said she appreciated AG Edwards’ willingness to cooperate with state officials. Moreover, she urged those who fear for the safety of their investments to seek help.
California Law Protects Elderly Investors
Did you know that California law requires brokers to provide compelling reasons for the exchange or sale of variable annuities belonging to clients 65 or over? If you feel that your variable annuities have been mishandled by a broker, contact Carlson Law.
Tags: A.G. Edwards & Sons LLC, annuity sales, Broker Fraud, Carlson Law, compensation, elderly investors, financial loss, Investment Fraud, investment loss, Securities Fraud Attorney San Diego, securities lawsuit, variable annuities, variable annuity, Wells Fargo Advisors
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