CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - More than $57,000 has been returned to two Missouri seniors whose agent allegedly improperly invested their savings.
Secretary of State Jason Kander announced the settlement comes from a previous action against Manzur Mazumder, a former Bankers Life and Casualty Company (Bankers Life) agent based in Cape Girardeau.
The order alleges Mazumder and another Bankers Life insurance agent, Harry Ward, convicted the couple that in order to get enough income to finance the premium payments on life insurance policies, they should establish a brokerage account at ProEquities, Inc, and allow Ward to manage and trade securities on their behalf.
Despite the couple's concerns about their ability to afford the premium payments of the insurance policies, Mazumder and Ward moved forward.
"Investors need to not only understand the investment product and risks involved before turning over their hard-earned savings, but also the individuals offering those products," Kander said. "That's why it's important to call my office before investing to avoid becoming a victim of fraud."
The order also alleges Mazumder and Ward made trades in the clients' brokerage account by utilizing a strategy that was inappropriately risk and ill-advised. It failed to generate the promised income and ultimately resulted in significant losses for the couple.
After leaving Bankers Life, Mazumder convinced the couple to sell an annuity previously bought at Bankers Life. The sale of this annuity resulted in a significant surrender fee incurred by the clients.
Bankers Life agreed to pay $57, 178 in restitution to the Missouri residents, $40,000 in fines and $5,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.