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April 14, 2008


Kathy McKoy

How can I get in touch with Scott Olsen? I am a Fraud Examiner and have two huge cases of annuity and securities fraud I am just wrapping up for civil remediation (for the annuities) & arbitration (for the securities). I have brought in the FBI, to launch a criminal investigation, due to the egregious nature of these crimes and their tactics. These two fraudsters belong behind bars and I aim to facilitate getting them there. The fraudsters that perpetrated these two;(The fraudsters work as a tag team, one is the alleged "Supervisor" and the other is "Registered Representative", thus they are co-conspirators, and have been aided and abetted by one of the big Insurance "Players" who has played a complicit role in their fraud)

Charles Nilosek

All the comments seem kind of funny now don't they. NOT ONE PERSON IN THE ENTIRE NATION LOST A PENNY IN EIA's DURING THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS. Who are the victims now?

James Paris

In response to Scott Olson:

I am not and have never been a sales rep of indexed annuities. You must not have read the section of my blog where I clearly make the point that I do not recommend this product. If two adults being fully informed, agree to a legal transaction; that is not a scam. It is a choice. I did not suggest in my blog that people are never scammed by annuity sales reps, I am sure they are scammed every day just like in every other industry. I did not see any example in the Chris Hansen report of an individual that was not informed of the surrender charges. Instead of addressing that issue, you chose to raise other meaningless facts. If there are a bunch of bad guys out there not disclosing surrender charges, find them and put them in jail and take away their licenses. First, give Chris Hansen their names so he can go back and update his report with one that really has a smoking gun.

There is a difference between a scam and a bad financial product. If these products are so bad, why are they approved in the first place to be sold by the various state regulators? They are approved to be sold with full and fair disclosure. Disclosure is the issue not the product. I saw no case in the report where disclosure was not made.

Again, I truly believe it is an inferior product and I would never recommend it or put my own money in it. I also think that CD's, whole life insurance, most bank checking accounts, most credit cards,(the list is endless) are a bad products. On the basis of your thinking, we should start filling the jails tonight with everyone selling these other products too. I am really a Libertarian on issues like this.

Thanks for your comments, on this one we will just have to disagree.

Jim Paris

Scott L. Olson

I am amazed at your lack of knowledge on this subject.

Are you really an Index Annuity salesperson in disguise? I have met with three to four dozen seniors in the past few years who have been ripped off by the same scammers using the same tactics as those on the Dateline expose.

Maybe if you found that your widowed mother invested her life savings in an investment that she cant ever get her money out of you may feel different.

I have a long list of seniors who have come to me asking for advise about something they bought from a self proclaimed "financial advisor" who legally cannot use this title since they are only insurance licensed and not CFP's nor licensed as RIA's or IAR's as we are.

Senior after senior has recounted with significant detail what they were told and sold by the IA salesperson. Almost every statement or talking point the salesperson used was lies. Unfortunately once they realized the lies it’s too late. I have sent dozens of spies to confirm the lies and I will tell you that the Dateline show was way too easy on these deceitful IA salespeople.

How can anyone claiming to have the financial interests of their clients sell them any investment with a 20% CDSC, reducing gradually over up to 20 years - especially to a 75 or 85 year old who will not live long enough to get their money back.

I three states there is a company which has been sued many times, who is advertising “7%, to as high as 8.3% FDIC Insured Bank CD’s” to attract seniors. In most cases when the senior arrives to buy the CD, the advertiser (insurance agent) refused to discuss it, and instead rolls into how he can get them a “guaranteed 10-15% per year, not average, but ever single year.” If you think these scammers are so wonderful, why don’t you give your parents this guys number so they can invest your inheritance. I would be glad to provide you with several of these advertisements. The FTC has opened an investigation on these advertisers, and the State of Florida has filed indictments against some of them.

I have been vigorously working with many multi-state agencies in an attempt to cease unethical sales practices, specifically “Bait & Switch” advertising. They are all very interested in insurance agents taking advantage of seniors, yet the only department with the jurisdiction that could do something immediately doesn’t seem interested, or claims they don’t have the manpower.

I could go on and on, but since by your words, you really aren't interested in the truth I won't bother.

You really need to do some homework on areas that you obviously lack knowledge and experience in.

Ps I cannot believe some of the idiotic statements made by bloggers on this area and responding to your article.

Chris Daigle

James, I am in the industry and I do feel that Dateline missed the real problem, the products themselves. You have people out there selling something that is not worth the paper it is written on such as the fixed annuity and cash value life insurance. In order to sell those products, they have to not always explain their product fully. If they did, nobody would purchase it. I am blessed to be with a company that does what is right 100% of the time. One of the products that I provide is a Variable Annuity. However, I make sure that my clients are all educated about all of the pros and cons of each and everything that I might provide them. Our variable is not for everyone, but for the people that it fits, it is great.

Sheryl J. Moore

James, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Thanks for giving an unbiased perspective on this issue. I am an independent market research analyst who tracks all indexed annuities, their carriers, and the sales of the products. I will tell you there was alot of misinformation in that broadcast, and plenty of information was left out as well. (Creative editing by the producers maybe?) Lori Swanson has already sued five carriers who are ranked in the top ten for indexed annuity sales. If she is so concerned about the suitability of annuities to seniors, why hasn't she sued a carrier offering FIXED annuities, or VARIABLE annuities? Chris Hansen failed to mention that Minnesota's legislative auditor has launched a preliminary investigation into allegations of ethical and legal lapses in Attorney General Lori Swanson's office (of interest, Swanson and some of her top aides have been accused of trying to find defendants to fit lawsuits on high-profile topics). Is this a coincidence? I think not. The entire broadcast looked like Swanson contacted Dateline to support her political agenda and Chris Hansen thought it would make for great sensationalistic reporting. sm


James, I agree with you, what Chris Hansen reported was manipulated and a far cry from the abuses people often hear about.

Unfortunately, every investment or savings product has the capacity to be misrepresented.

Eric Toya - LWM Blog

I agree that the smoking gun never materialized, however that doesn't make the sale appropriate or the the sales tactics totally above the board.

One question for the annuity salespeople featured, or those defending them: would you still recommend the same annuities if you did not earn a commission?

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