National Life Insurance Pyramid Scheme Investigation

03.04.2019

Girard Sharp is investigating claims that Premier Financial Alliance and similar companies have been carrying out an unlawful pyramid scheme involving the sale of universal life insurance policies issued by National Life Group.

The alleged scheme targets Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino immigrants and their families, promising high returns from getting people to buy—and sell—overpriced insurance policies.

If you believe you might be a victim of this alleged scheme, you may have a claim for relief. Protect your rights by speaking with a Girard Sharp public protection attorney (dial 415-981-4800) or by submitting your information below:

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Overview of PFA’s Alleged Practices

Premier Financial Alliance (“PFA”) attracts associates at “financial opportunity” seminars and during junkets in Las Vegas and elsewhere. There is evidence that PFA and its promoters falsely portray the insurance product as superior and tell attendees that joining the group will lead to financial success and independence in the United States.

New members pay an initial fee of $125 and, before becoming licensed insurance agents, must buy the Living Life Indexed Universal Life Insurance (“IUL”) policy. They are then pressured to recruit and sell the policy within their network of friends and family, typically from the same immigrant group. Associates are permitted to apply for a license to sell insurance only after they have sold five Living Life IUL policies and recruited five people to sell for PFA.

There is evidence that the IUL policies are overpriced in comparison to analogous policies, and that PFA associates earn money chiefly through recruiting rather than through sales to the public—a hallmark of a pyramid scheme. Policies with a combined face value of $1.3 billion were issued in the first six months of the PFA enterprise.

Girard Sharp is investigating claims that, even as PFA represents that participation is low risk and will lead to wealth, it does not inform prospective associates that nearly all the profit from their sales will go to a few individuals at the top, or that the entire pyramid would crumble if recruiting dries up.

If you think you may have fallen victim to this alleged pyramid scheme, you could have a claim for damages. Protect your rights—call a Girard Sharp public protection attorney at 415-981-4800 or submit your information above.

Pyramid Schemes

An illegal “pyramid scheme” takes advantage of the public by pretending to engage in legitimate multilevel marketing while actually siphoning off money from new recruits to pay the people at the top level. The Federal Trade Commission explains that, with a pyramid scheme, “the money you make is based primarily on the number of distributors you recruit and your sales to them, rather than on your sales to people outside the plan who intend to use the products.”

Similar to a chain letter, a pyramid scheme disappoints those at the bottom who can find no recruits. Because it must eventually collapse, a pyramid scheme is inherently fraudulent.

The FTC asks three questions to determine whether a multi-level marketing company is an unlawful pyramid scheme:

  • Do distributors sell more product to other distributors than they do to the public?
  • Does the amount of money distributors make depend more on recruiting (that is, getting new distributors to pay for the right to participate in the plan)?
  • Does the money made depend mostly on selling to other distributors rather than on sales of the product to the public?

The subject of our investigation is whether the answer to these questions is “yes” for Premier Financial Alliance and similar companies.

Our Commitment to Excellence

Girard Sharp has earned national Tier 1 rankings for Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation and has been named to the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list each year since 2013. Read about some of our results.

We have recovered over a billion dollars for our clients against some of the nation’s largest corporations, such as Raymond James, Peregrine Financial Group, Provident Royalties Inc., and OppenheimerFunds, in cases involving pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, and other unfair and deceptive practices.

For a free consultation about your potential claims, contact one of our public protection attorneys at 1.415.981.4800 or fill out the form toward the top of this page.

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