How Dean Vagnozzi’s Clients Lost Bets On The Dead

Since financial adviser Dean Vagnozzi was charged with fraud in a government lawsuit in July, he has been castigated by regulators for how he steered customers to Par Funding, a Philadelphia lender founded by a twice-convicted felon. With his heavy radio advertising and free steak sales dinners, Vagnozzi, 51, touted alternatives to Wall Street.

Source: How Dean Vagnozzi’s Clients Lost Bets On The Dead

Actually the title to the original article is misleading.

Don’t bet on people dying to make your profits. Unfortunately some people do just that.

Life Partners founder Brian Pardo lived well in Waco, Texas, for a time. Pardo bought four planes and a yacht along with such artifacts as replicas of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and a pharaoh’s throne. His business eventually sold $2.4 billion in policies to 20,000 investors.

But in 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported that Pardo’s firm was relying heavily on an assembly-line doctor who was systematically under-predicting life expectancies. Life Partners’ sellers were living a lot longer than predicted — very good for them but hard on investors paying years of premiums without collecting death benefits,

I’ve never been a fan of the life settlement business.

Never accept one of those free steak dinner offers.

Billions Wasted on Approved Bogus Disability Claims

In Oklahoma, the administrative law judge Howard O’Bryan, age 87, approved 5,401 disability claims from 2007 to 2009, committing taxpayers to $1.6 billion in expenditures. The investigation detected a “strange pattern” in which applicants denied for physical ailments would later successfully appeal listing their disability as “mental retardation.”

via Billions Wasted on Approved Bogus Disability Claims.

How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges – ProPublica

ProPublica has taken a close look at the Caramadre case because it offers a window into a larger issue: The transformation of the life insurance industry away from its traditional business of insuring lives to peddling complex financial products. This shift has not been a smooth one. Particularly during the lead up to the financial crisis, companies wrote billions worth of contracts that now imperil their financial health.

In a series of detailed interviews, Caramadre said the companies designed the rules; all he did was exploit them. Their hunger for profits in a period of dizzying growth and competition, he contends, left them vulnerable to someone with his unusual acumen. The companies have argued in court that Caramadre is a fraud artist who should return every last dime he made. In his rulings to date, the federal judge hearing the civil cases has agreed with Caramadre’s contention that he was doing what the fine print allowed.

via Death Takes a Policy: How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges – ProPublica.

by Jake Bernstein
ProPublica, Aug. 24, 2012

Well written and well researched, this article is worth reading.  An article from the Wall Street Journal in 2010 also makes for good reading and that link is below.

Investors Recruit Terminally Ill to Outwit Insurers on Annuities –

FDA Panel Says Yes to Home HIV Test

If marketed, the test would likely be sold in a similar manner to some cough medicines, according to a company spokesman. At checkout, the cashier would ask to see the purchaser’s ID to confirm he or she is at least 17.

via Medical News: FDA Panel Says Yes to Home HIV Test – in HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS from MedPage Today.

Might be time to review your application and exam question.

I’d take a hard look at my non-medical limits too.

More Financial Scammers Are Targeting Seniors :: Investment Fraud Lawyer Blog

As America ages, regulators are seeing more and more financial abuse of people 50 years of age or older. The North American Securities Administrators Association NASAA, the association of state securities regulators, reportedly filed 1,241 such enforcement actions in 2010, the latest year for which data has been compiled – more than double the 506 enforcement actions filed in 2009 “Financial Scammers Prey on Seniors,” by Anne Teresen, Wall Street Journal.

via More Financial Scammers Are Targeting Seniors :: Investment Fraud Lawyer Blog.