Standard Provident (Principal: David Vance)
This is a company that has no licence to operatein Spain, selling Viaticles.
We have checked and to the best of our knowledge David Vance holds no qualifications and has no indemnity. He is an ex Henry Woods salesman.
For the past few years Vance has been pushing Viaticals with Mutual Benfits offering in his advertisements as much as 70%
1st JUNE 2005
A new member has reported that he has lost 1 MILLION POUNDS through Vance.
28th June 04
SEC wins round in viatical inquiry
Sun-Sentinel.com (This is a Florida newspaper, it?s the only place that I have found any news so far. The Shepherds website used to have an article about how the case was in court, this has now been removed but nothing has put posted in its place yet)
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission was within its rights to level fraud allegations against Mutual Benefits Corp., a Fort Lauderdale viatical company.
U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno wrote in his ruling that "in light of the underlying principles of the federal securities laws, investments in viatical settlements are covered by the federal securities laws."
Viatical companies buy life insurance policies from the terminally ill and elderly, and then offer a share of those policies to investors. When the person dies, the investors collect.
In issuing his ruling, Moreno also extended a temporary restraining order against Mutual Benefits, restrictions that will stay in place until fraud allegations against the company are settled. Attorneys will begin their evidentiary hearings on Wednesday.
Federal and state regulators shut down Mutual Benefits on May 5, accusing the company of fraud.
Teresa Verges, an assistant regional director with the SEC's Miami office, said Moreno's ruling is significant because it counters another federal lawsuit in which it was ruled that settlements were insurance contracts and not securities subject to federal regulation.
"Now I think investors are far more protected today than they were yesterday," Verges said.
Through a spokeswoman, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher lauded Moreno's ruling. "This is great news," Gallagher said. "This gives investors a fighting chance to get their money back."
Mutual Benefits officials have accused the SEC and the state of trumping up fraud charges. Attorneys argued in court earlier this week that work done after getting investors' money for a viatical settlement involves filing paperwork and other actions that wouldn't make the products a security.
Russ Klenet, a former lobbyist for Mutual Benefits and spokesman for Mutual Benefits President Peter Lombardi, was out of the country and unavailable for comment Friday.
Bruce Zimet, an attorney for former Mutual Benefits President Leslie Steinger, said he wasn't surprised by Moreno's ruling.
"The macro view of this, from our perspective, is that this is a little hiccup in the road to ultimately winning the case," Zimet said. "We think we will prevail and we think the SEC has no business [regulating viaticals]."
Lombardi and Steinger both are named in the suit, as is Joel Steinger, a consultant to Mutual Benefits and Leslie Steinger's brother.
Zimet said he planned to appeal. This case, he said, will be decided either by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
|1.The exchange risk is left to the investors to worry about. This aspect has mutilated any upside performance Vance may claim to have achieved. The losses are about 20%.|
2. Vance is heavily connected to Mututal Benefits Corp. This company is very dubious and has many many fraud actions against them. MBC pay for Vance's advertising and Vance is totally reliant on whatever information MBC feed them, apparently taking everything on trust.
3. The policies that MBC tend to purchase are NOT in line with any cash flow payout that may be required. They have the whole investment scene for this type of product unregulated and totally at their mercy. There is no one to police them. Vance is playing with fire.
4. MBC do not cap their policies. For this reason Vance say whenever the policy matures is when you get paid. It is a gamble in essence not an investment. Reputable dealers in this field always give maximum investment periods, at which time the investor gets taken out by a cap if the viator (the insured person) is still alive.
5. I have been told from America, (the source is good but secret) that MBC has sold portions of a policy to the value of 150% of face value.
We cover MBC's shortcomings fully on this site, but what is extremely worrying is that just on the exchange risk alone many people who have bought Vance's viatical policies as an investment are down 20% plus. In addition to which, as stated above, Vance does no due diligence on the policies it gets sold by MBC, and if you were MBC who would you keep your best policies for and where would you send your worst? It is early days, but since the policies are not capped there will unquestionable be investors who are going to find themsleves paying the insured person's premiums well past the originally-projected die-by dates! Vance should be stopped in his tracks, and might well be hearing from Spanish Regulators who now have a full report!
State securities regulators sue viatical firm
Mutual Benefits Corp. accused of gouging customers
By John Accola, Rocky Mountain News
January 22, 2004
Colorado securities regulators are suing one of the nation's largest peddlers of viatical investments, accusing the company of misleading sales tactics and gouging customers.
A Denver District Court lawsuit alleges Mutual Benefits Corp. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., failed to deliver promised returns and misled investors by failing to disclose additional investment costs as well as past run-ins with regulators.
Viatical investments, often dubbed "death futures," involve the sale of an individual's life insurance policy, at a discounted cash percentage of the policy's face value, to a third party.
In one of the most common viatical transactions - called "life settlement" deals - the policy is sold by a person who is terminally ill, and the patient receives some fraction of the policy's value.
Richard Kaufman, Mutual's Denver attorney, declined to comment on the financial fraud allegations, noting he had just received a copy of the complaint late Tuesday.
Kaufman, however, disputed Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph's charges that Mutual had violated a new state law requiring viatical companies to use licensed brokers and register their products with the Colorado Division of Securities.
Since May 2003, viatical products have been added to the definition of investment "securities."
At a hearing Wednesday, Kaufman successfully argued against Joseph's motion for a temporary restraining order. Kaufman showed Judge Joseph Meyer a June 2003 company memorandum that warned Mutual sales agents not to sell viatical products.
Kaufman said the judge didn't grant Joseph's motion because there was no evidence Mutual had sold viatical products in Colorado after the new law went into effect.
Joseph also acknowledged Wednesday that the securities division's investigation into Mutual was not prompted by consumer complaints against the company.
Even so, Joseph said Mutual has raised as much as $5.5 million from at least 200 Colorado investors using questionable promotion tactics.
He said the company had failed to advise investors that Mutual is the subject of cease-and-desist orders issued in the past four years by regulators in Alabama, Vermont, Virginia and Pennsylvania securities regulators.
In terms of gouging, the complaint said original policyholders, called viators, receive only a small percentage of the funds raised. It cited one viatical settlement deal in which Mutual raised $2.3 million from investors for an unnamed individual's $4 million policy. The company then marketed the policy as a six-year life settlement with a 72 percent "fixed" return to investors.
The original policyholder received $240,000 of the investor funds, or $40,000 less than the sales agent's commission, the complaint stated.
"Incredibly, (Mutual Benefits) received $1,085,881, more than four times what the viator received," the complaint said.
Also named as co-defendants in the Colorado complaint are Mutual Benefits founders, south Florida brothers Les-lie Steinger and Joel Steinger, and current President Peter J. Lombardi.
These products are sold by
Standard Provident (Principal: David Vance)
Ref Mutual Benefits Corporation
To: "Glen Hughes" <HughesG@dfs ...snip... Dogman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: David the Dogman <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Mutual Benefits CorpCc: <OIEA@sec.gov>, "Rick Dwyer ...snip... firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Department of Financial Services (DFS), Fraud Division.
Ref Mutual Benefits Corporation
Dear Mr Hughes
Thank you for your reply, at least I know you are aware of me and my correspondence.
The fact that a criminal investigation is still going on does at least assist me in trying to stop the cowboys here ( all unlicensed) . I send you a copy of another full page advertisement and you will observe the horrific , exaggerated anticipated return which are forecasted.
The Costa Del Sol is a hot bed for scoundrels to tout ex pats who are retired and gullable for being cheated.
Your equivalent in Spain is The Direcion de Seguros who are at this present time considering issuing licences to the companies advertising Mutual Benefits Corp..
Is there any type of communication that you can send me to enable me to make presentation to the Spanish Authorities?
The main company here is David Vance Standard Provident.
Any assistance, advice, help you can give us to stop this marketing would be greatly appreciated.
Have a good week end
At 11:54 07/02/03 -0500, Glen Hughes wrote:
Dear Mr. Klein,
The Dept. of Financial Services is in receipt of your prior e-mails and attachments, including those accompanying today's e-mail. They have been compiled and are part of a complaint file marked "Klein, David (Spain)" along with others as part of on ongoing investigation. Because the criminal investigation is ongoing I am not at liberty to disclose the information in our possession, the theory or status of the investigation. As with other complainants you will be notified at the conclusion of the investigation and be provided with information on how to obtain public records from the Department.
I have reviewed the information you have submitted including the advertisements attached thereto and am unclear how the State of Florida, Department of Financial Services can assist you. The Department of Financial Services, Fraud Division is a Law Enforcement Agency with jurisdiction to investigate violations of Florida State Statutes (FSS) occcurring within the State of Florida and execute arrests.
NOTE: On January 7, 2003, the agency name was changed to the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Fraud Division. The Chief Financial Officer is Tom Gallagher.