Archives for Life Insurance

Place & Hanley Investigating Claims Involving Fredrik Magnus Virgin and Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith, Inc.

Place & Hanley is currently investigating claims against Fredrik Magnus Virgin (CRD No. 2743410) and Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith, Inc. (“Merrill Lynch”) (CRD No.: 7691). The Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC recently filed a FINRA Arbitration claim on behalf of Claimants in which it was alleged that the broker, Fredrick Magnus Virgin, sold an elderly investor a single life Nationwide annuity. On the date of issuance, the investor was 77 years old and legally blind.

The Nationwide Annuity Application lists the investor’s nephew as the primary beneficiary. Furthermore, the application provides that the nephew is to receive 100% of the benefit, confirms that he is the annuitant’s nephew, and also confirms his social security number and birth date. Upon the investor’s passing, the nephew was denied any death benefit payment by Nationwide. Nationwide advised that the annuity contract had a single life payout option which guaranteed the payments for the lifetime of the annuitant only. In a single life payout option, all payments cease with the last payment due prior to the death of the annuitant. Claimants allege that the investor clearly intended to elect a beneficiary to his Nationwide annuity since he completed the beneficiary section on his annuity application and provided all necessary information to elect a beneficiary to his annuity.

The annuity contract at issued was entered into when the investor was 77 years old. The investor lost a significant portion of his originally invested principal, plus the loss of a reasonable return on his investment, because he did not live long enough for his monthly annuity payments to equal to the original purchase price of the annuity. In order for the investor to have broken even on his investment, he would have had to live to be over 85 years old. Claimants allege that there was no reasonable basis to recommend a single life payout annuity to a senior who was 77 years old at the time of purchase. Furthermore, it is alleged that the policy application clearly evidences that it was the investor’s intention to name a beneficiary to the annuity as all the necessary information to elect a beneficiary was provided on the annuity application.

Claimants have alleged that Respondent violated industry rules, including but not limited to FINRA’s customer suitability standard (Rule 2111) as well as FINRA rules 3110 and 2010. Thus, it is alleged that Merrill Lynch violated the duty of care and was negligent. Claimants further allege that Merrill Lynch breached the contract that was entered into and also breached the fiduciary duty that a securities firm and its employees/agents owe to their clients. Claimants alleged that Respondent’s misconduct constitutes common law fraud. Moreover, Claimants allege that the account at issue was handled negligently and Merrill Lynch was negligent in their supervision of Virgin. As such, Claimants allege that Merrill Lynch is liable for their conduct and the conduct of their employees by virtue of the doctrines of agency, respondeat superior, and vicarious liability.

If you were a client of Fredrik Magnus Virgin or Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith, Inc. and have suffered investment losses, please contact the Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC to explore your legal options. The Law Offices of Place & Hanley, LLC is dedicated to helping investors who have been victims of securities fraud. If you have lost money as a result of securities fraud, you may be able to recover your financial losses. Contact us today toll free at (866)318-4725 for a free initial consultation.

Categories: Broker Investigations, FINRA Arbitration, Florida Securities Attorneys, General, Life Insurance, and Securities Broker Misconduct.

Florida life insurance fraud attorneys

Every now and then, our Florida life insurance fraud attorneys at Place & Hanley will consult on a case in which life insurance fraud is committed.

Life insurance fraud is a very specific type of insurance fraud. It is defined as intentional deception on those applying for and selling life insurance. The elderly are typically the most vulnerable when it comes to this type of fraud. Our life insurance fraud lawyers in Florida state that this type of fraud can be split into two categories: seller and buyer fraud. Buyer fraud occurs by bending the process to obtain more coverage or cash through deception like falsifying medical history, committing murder, and even faking death.

While this all may seem extreme, our Florida life insurance fraud attorneys can assure you that life insurance fraud can, at times, take extreme forms. Life insurance fraud usually involves elaborate schemes designed to maximize claim policies. Some fraudsters have even created false identities and family members to kill off for money. In some cases, doctors even get involved in life insurance frauds by acting as medical examiners and falsifying information on medical exams.

Seller fraud occurs when the policy seller tries to maximize their own profit by playing the system through different types of practices like premium theft, churning, and over or under coverage. Seller fraud has the highest potential to hurt those that experience it.

So, how do you protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim of life insurance fraud?

The key to protecting yourself against insurance fraud is through careful attention. Be careful of the documents you’re signing and read insurance policies carefully. Check the licenses of your agent or broker and make copies of all the paperwork for your records. If you have an uneasy feeling about a policy or an agent, remember to stand firm and contact a professional for advice. Our Florida life insurance fraud attorneys can help you.

Insurance fraud happens on a daily basis and it won’t go away any time soon. Stay alert and remember that if it sounds too good to be true, you’re probably the target of a scam. If you’ve been a victim to fraud, our Florida life insurance fraud lawyers at Place & Hanley are dedicated to helping you. Contact us for a free consultation.

Categories: Life Insurance.