Variable Annuity Fraud
In anticipation of their retirement, many people look for investments that will keep the money flowing in long after they’ve stopped working. Often this leads these investors to variable annuities, which can be an assortment of tax-deferred investments. Depending on how these investments perform, a variable annuity has the potential to bring in an increasing amount of income, as opposed to a fixed annuity, which offers a guaranteed, minimal payout.
How is variable annuity fraud committed?
When a broker or selling agent misrepresents the facts or does not disclose important information about an annuity, this is considered fraud. In addition, there may also be other facets of variable annuity fraud, including:
- Churning – Also referred to as excessive trading, churning occurs when a broker sells new variable annuities or unnecessary replacements just for the sake of creating extra commissions for him or herself and the brokerage firm.
- Unsuitability – Brokers are obligated to understand their clients and do what is best for their financial situation. Because they are high-risk, variable annuities are not always suitable for a client, but a broker may push them anyway.
- Switching – Before a firm or advisor recommends that a client switches their variable annuity contract, they are required to look at numerous factors, including financial situation, age, investment experience, existing assets, and risk tolerance.
When a broker or firm has been found liable for variable annuity fraud or related securities industry violations, often the damages recovered by investors are substantial. If you suspect your broker or financial advisor misled you about a variable annuity or otherwise acted dishonestly, the Silver Law Group can determine if you have the possibility to recover lost money.
Scott Silver is currently the chairman of the American Trial Lawyers Association, Securities and Financial Fraud Group and routinely represents investors in securities arbitration claims.
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