September 1, 2011

Texas Reps Could Lose Securities Licenses for Selling Life Settlement Notes

In an InvestmentNews.com article, Darla Mercado writes that two registered representatives with Planmember Securities Corp. could lose their securities licenses in Texas and face fines of $100,000 each for the improper sale of life settlement notes.

The brokers, Jimmy Wayne Freeman Jr. and Kris Bradford Rhoden, were due to appear at the State Office of Administrative Hearings on Aug. 4 for a proceeding that will determine whether the men lose their securities registrations and have to pay the fines, according to the Texas State Securities Board.

The article says that the state regulators claim that between June 2008 and February 2009, Mr. Freeman and Mr. Rhoden sold note agreements that were supposedly backed by life insurance policies and guaranteed a 10% simple-interest return for five years.

The two reps allegedly also sold a so-called Immediate Income Investment Plan, which involved a five-year note that was purportedly backed by life insurance policies, plus a five-year, fixed biweekly income account.

The InvestmentNews.com article points out that both products were issued by National Life Settlements LLC, a now-defunct firm that was shut down by Texas securities cops in 2009 after selling $30 million in unregistered investments — phony promissory notes that were supposedly backed by life settlements — to teachers and state retirees.

Ms. Mercado writes that the men also failed to get permission from Planmember to perform an outside business activity before receiving an undisclosed amount in commissions for selling away, according to the brokers' hearing notices. State regulators also charge that when Mr. Freeman and Mr. Rhoden sold the life settlement notes, they told Planmember on their compliance questionnaire that they did not offer or sell such products.

Mr. Freeman and Mr. Rhoden allegedly failed to comply with Planmember's supervisory procedures, which barred private-securities transactions and required them to get prior written approval from the broker-dealer before participating in a securities transaction outside of the regular course of business, Texas securities regulators claim.

Finally, it was reported that the men failed to make a timely update of their U-4 forms to show that they were marketing the life settlement notes, and both used their personal e-mail accounts to communicate with Planmember clients about the investments, according to the hearing notices.

If you or a family member have become alleged victims of life insurance fraud, contact an insurance fraud attorney for a free consultation on how to recover your investment losses.  To speak with an attorney, call 888-760-6552, or visit securitieslawyer.com

We stand up and fight for the rights of consumers. Soreide Law Group, PLLC, representing Insurance Fraud Victims in Federal Court, State Court and before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).

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