Fraud related to life settlements lands investment advisor in prison

by Jim Orr

A federal court has sentenced investment advisor Joseph Gennaco to 100 months in prison for his role in a $7 million fraud scheme that centered on steering clients to invest in “life settlements.” Gennaco was convicted of 27 counts of mail and wire fraud and ordered to pay $7 million in restitution to 40 victims.

Gennaco pled guilty to all counts in the indictment. He has been held in custody since November 2011 after his bail was revoked because he apparently continued to defraud people even after he had been charged.

Prosecutors alleged that Gennaco told investors their money would be invested in “life settlements” and that the investments would be repaid with a “guaranteed” profit from the sale of those policies. In reality, according to prosecutors, he used the money for his own personal and business purposes. Prosecutors contended that Gennaco strung along many of his victims for years by continually reassuring investors their money was safe and by offering a variety of phony excuses for the delay in repaying investors.

Life Settlement Lawsuits

Life settlements are investment products which originate from life insurance policies. Basically, a “life settlement” is a life insurance policy that is purchased from the original insured. When the insured subsequently dies, the policy proceeds are paid to the purchaser of the policy (the investor) as opposed to the family of the insured.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed several lawsuits against Life Partners, Inc., a Waco-based subsidiary of Life Partners Holdings, Inc., in connection with the life settlement investments sold by the company. We have filed numerous cases on behalf of individual investors who allege they were overcharged for their life settlement investments based on inaccurate life expectancies prepared for Life Partners. These lawsuits allege that in many instances, Life Partners had life expectancy estimates from legitimate companies in the business of providing life expectancy estimates, but they withheld this information from their own customers.

Heygood Orr & Pearson has also filed lawsuits alleging that Life Partners charged its investors excessive amounts to cover premium payments on their life settlements. Traditionally, life settlement companies pay to the life insurance company only the minimum amount necessary to keep the subject policy from lapsing – called the “cost of insurance.” We have filed claims on behalf of investors alleging that Life Partners has been charging investors the full scheduled premium rather than just the cost of insurance. These lawsuits seek to recover from Life Partners the amount of these excessive charges for premiums on behalf of investors who have been required to pay excessive premiums.

If you or a loved one purchased a Life Settlement policy from Life Partners, you may be eligible to seek compensation through a class action lawsuit or to file your own individual case.

For a free consultation with an attorney to determine your eligibility, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page, and one of our representatives will be in touch with you as soon as possible.