Two men are accused of Texas securities fraud involving the sale of bogus annuities to the elderly. The authorities arrested Leon Randy Sinclair III, a 53-year-old Houston man, on charges of theft by deception, misapplication of fiduciary property, and money laundering. Sinclair and his San Antonio-based business partner, Luther Pierce Hendon, allegedly transferred money from the investment policies into their own bank accounts.
Dozens of elderly persons were reportedly bilked out of their life savings while the two men allegedly stole millions of dollars. The elderly clients were sold charitable gift annuities that they thought would go toward their savings for the future. Unfortunately, per the criminal complaints filed against Hendon and Sinclair, the money they were investing actually went to the two men.
An annuity is a contract with an insurance company that allows the participant to fulfill his/her long-term goals and retirement objectives. In exchange for either a number of payments or a lump-sum amount, the insurer starts paying you periodically either right away or sometime in the future.
Usually, an annuity offers tax-deferred earnings growth and a death benefit that will pay a designated beneficiary a specific minimum figure. Three kinds of annuities are:
Indexed Annuities: The insurer credits you with a return determined by changes in an index.
Fixed Annuities: The insurer agrees to pay you a minimum interest rate while your account grows. The insurance company also is to pay specific, periodic payments into your account.
Variable Annuities: You can opt to invest your payments in different kinds of investments. The Securities and Exchange Commission regulates this type of annuity.
Annuity fraud occurs when the agent that is selling misrepresents/fails to disclose key facts about the investment.
Unfortunately, the elderly are among the favorite targets for many of those intentionally seeking to commit annuities fraud. This type of investment is very appealing to people wanting to retire early or who are in search of a fixed income. It is easy for an elderly investor to mistakenly think that this type of investment is safe when, in fact, certain kinds of annuities are incredibly risky.
According to MetLife Inc. in June, older Americans are bilked of $2.9 billion annually by relatives, businesses, and strangers. At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP, our Houston stockbroker fraud lawyers work hard to help our clients that have been the victim of elder financial abuse recoup their losses.
We know how hard you’ve worked to save for your future, as well as provide some financial security for your family. Losing your retirement and/or life savings can take a devastating toll on a bilked investor. Serious emotional and health complications can result, in addition to the financial troubles that can arise. There may be a way to recoup your losses.
Houstonian accused of selling bogus annuities to elderly, Chron.com, December 14, 2011
More Blog Posts:
Texas Securities Fraud: Unregistered Adviser Confesses to Selling Almost $400K in Promissory Notes and Investments Despite Cease and Desist Order, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 5, 2011
Texas Securities Fraud: Raymond James Financial Services Pays Elderly Senior Investor About $1.8M Following Loss of Appeal, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 2, 2011
Former Texan and First Capital Savings and Loan To Pay $4.5M for Alleged Foreign Currency Ponzi Scheme, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 11, 2011