This is one thing you NEED to be aware of at all times:
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JOHN GARAMENDI SUES “LIVING TRUST MILL” OPERATORS FOR MORE THAN $110 MILLION
The defendants allegedly preyed on seniors, selling unneeded living trusts and annuities that bilked them out of hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement funds
Commissioner Garamendi has worked to fight this type of fraud since taking office in 2003. Earlier this month, due to legislation sponsored by the Commissioner, the Department of Insurance began collecting $1 for each life insurance or annuity sold in the state. The proceeds will go to support more enforcement and education on the dangers of insurance fraud involving these products.
The senior-related legislation Commissioner Garamendi has sponsored and helped pass includes:
· Senate Bill 1273 (Scott): Increases jail time to one year and monetary penalties to $25,000, or three times the amount of the loss above $10,000, for “twisting” or “churning” of annuities.
· Assembly Bill 2316 (Chan): Establishes the “Life and Annuities Consumer Protection Fund” by assessing up to $1 per each new individual annuity or life insurance product sold in California.
· Assembly Bill 2384 (Nakano): Allows the department to penalize insurance companies who don’t pay credit life and disability policy death benefits within 30 days of the date of a death.
· Assembly Bill 1600 (Nakano): This bill extends the period of time that life and disability insurers must maintain records relating to the activities of their agents and authorizes the State Insurance Commissioner to collect and report data relating to life and disability insurance. It enables the Commissioner to gather critical information about the life and annuity marketplace, particularly as it relates to senior citizens.
· Senate Bill 618 (Scott): Increases the fines for misrepresentation of insurance policies and increases the penalty for violations relating to the senior insurance law.
Consumers who believe they have been victimized by the defendants, or by another living trust mill or annuity fraud, should report it to the Department of Insurance by calling 1-800-927-HELP, or visiting the web site at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/. They also may file a complaint online at the Attorney General's web site, http://www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/mailform.htm.
If you feel you have been a victim of this type of annuity fraud or any other annuity fraud, please contact your local authorities.