Senior scam costs firms $6.4 million ...

Senior scam costs firms $6.4 million | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 55 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Oct 15, 2009, titled Senior scam costs firms $6.4 million | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

The Ohio Supreme Court imposed an unprecedented $6.4 million fine yesterday against two companies that allegedly swindled thousands of senior citizens in Ohio, but the unrepentant president of the companies said he'd fight the ruling and accused the court of railroading him.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#21 Oct 15, 2009
Curious wrote:
"You have to be a Licensed attorney to Practice law" is correct and NO ONE IS CHALLENGING THAT. As I understand the case, American Family used a LICENSED ATTORNEY who agreed to handle all the matters requiring an attorney,such as the preparaton of trust,etc,so there is not a violation there.
The Supreme Court sets the rules about who can practice law and how they can practice it. One longstanding rule is that lawyers cannot split fees with non lawyers. The purpose of this rule is so that the attorney puts the interest of his client first and not that of his referral source. The attorney in this matter had no client contact and was effectively representing American Family but drafting documents for another party. That is effecively a conflict of interest.

Again, the Supreme Court decides who, how and where law will be practiced, just as the liquor department decides who, how and where liquor will be sold, and just as the Dentistry Board decides who, how and where law will practice Dentistry. The Court saw what was going on here and put a stop to it. It saw a company trying to create a loophole for itself, profiting unfairly selling a product they a) weren't qualified to discuss; b) using scare tactics about probate court to scare people; c) convincing people who didn't need such legal work that they did and d) for zero savings over a real attorney.

Most of the people who were ripped off could have avoided probate by titling things appropriately (joint/survivorship, TOD, POD). They didn't need a huckster selling them a trust they didn't need.

And the final thing they didn't tell them ....... it often costs just as much to handle things in a non-probate estate as it does when an estate goes through probate court.

If you want to prepare trusts so bad, then go to law school.
cgood

Cape Coral, FL

#22 Oct 15, 2009
Obviously from your knowledge and how upset you are, you were personally involved in this case. I too was a happy client of Pre-Paid Legal, not working for them. This is a farce, corrupt and the money isn't even going to the so-called "victims." Those "victims" now have to get another attorney who will charge them $300-$400 an hour to recoup minimal reimbursement and the state gets MILLIONS, please. Bob, maybe you need to scarf that client list and go do some ambulance chasing.
Enzyte Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
The Supreme Court sets the rules about who can practice law and how they can practice it. One longstanding rule is that lawyers cannot split fees with non lawyers. The purpose of this rule is so that the attorney puts the interest of his client first and not that of his referral source. The attorney in this matter had no client contact and was effectively representing American Family but drafting documents for another party. That is effecively a conflict of interest.
Again, the Supreme Court decides who, how and where law will be practiced, just as the liquor department decides who, how and where liquor will be sold, and just as the Dentistry Board decides who, how and where law will practice Dentistry. The Court saw what was going on here and put a stop to it. It saw a company trying to create a loophole for itself, profiting unfairly selling a product they a) weren't qualified to discuss; b) using scare tactics about probate court to scare people; c) convincing people who didn't need such legal work that they did and d) for zero savings over a real attorney.
Most of the people who were ripped off could have avoided probate by titling things appropriately (joint/survivorship, TOD, POD). They didn't need a huckster selling them a trust they didn't need.
And the final thing they didn't tell them ....... it often costs just as much to handle things in a non-probate estate as it does when an estate goes through probate court.
If you want to prepare trusts so bad, then go to law school.
Curious

United States

#23 Oct 15, 2009
Bob, let me clue you in.....You have not been appointed to present this case over and over again via your post. There is no one disputing the requirement to be a licensed attorney to practice law,write trust or anything of th sort. You keep attempting to ride the same old worn out nag and completly ignore the facts. NO ONE OTHER THAN A LICENSED ATTORNEY handled legal matters for these folks.If they did,and if there was a scam involved where is the evidence,where are the seniors that got ripped off,where is the attorney with charges o unfair sales practices,where are the criminal charges,where is you proof to back up your claim. At this point it appears to be all lawyer talk any nothing else. Your case is nothing more than a jealousy driven case brought about because this company did not refer clients to you and your greedy bar assoc buddies. Please quit twisting words and acting like you are presenting the case all over again to one of your fratenity buddies on the bench....WE AIN"T BUYING YOUR CRAP...The recorded conversation of the judges themselves SPEAK LOUDLY about the denial of justice in this case and nothing you can say adequatly defends them in their own words.MY VERDICT OF THE JUDGES. GUILTY by a perpondance evidance as reflected by their own voices. My question to you. What else are you trying to cover up. You are sure steamed about this case after being declared the winners....Lotta smoke,must be a fire someplace you are attempting to hide...
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#24 Oct 15, 2009
cgood wrote:
Obviously from your knowledge and how upset you are, you were personally involved in this case. I too was a happy client of Pre-Paid Legal, not working for them. This is a farce, corrupt and the money isn't even going to the so-called "victims." Those "victims" now have to get another attorney who will charge them $300-$400 an hour to recoup minimal reimbursement and the state gets MILLIONS, please. Bob, maybe you need to scarf that client list and go do some ambulance chasing.
<quoted text>
Not upset at all. In fact, I could care less. I'm just calling you out for what I believe you are: Crooks.
petemn

Lakeville, MN

#25 Oct 15, 2009
mmmm very interesting
Petemn

Lakeville, MN

#26 Oct 15, 2009
"Insider Comments" and "Curious" are so right on with their totally unbiased and well informed opinions and on their espousal of the "true facts" in this 7-0 Ohio Supreme Court decision!! Outrageous, I say!
Just because Jeffrey and Stanley and their companies (AFLP and Heritage Marketing) are being sued all over the place (Ohio is just one of several states where they are being or have been sued) doesn't mean that the Normans aren't providing a valuable service for their vulnerable elderly AFLP “members.” I totally agree with “Insider Comments” and “Curious” implications that the only explanation for the 7-0 Supreme Court decision in this Ohio case is that there must be vast conspiracy by greedy blood sucking attorneys and corrupt judges all around the country, all of whom just want to pick on poor little Jeffrey and Stanley Norman.
Selling expensive boilerplate trusts (for $1995 and more) to elderly folks that have been scared (by well trained sales reps with no legal training) into believing in the massively expensive and horribly burdensome "probate monster" seems to be a reasonable, legal, and darn good business plan to me. And, estate planning doesn't necessarily require that there has to be any actual "planning" involved. I think the "one size fits all boilerplate trusts" for all AFLP members, no matter what their individual circumstances, just simplifies things and makes good sense to me. Discussing other less expensive and possibly more appropriate estate planning "options" would just confuse these old people. And besides, every once in a while, that boilerplate trust might just actually fit one of those old folks' actual estate planning goals. Just ask the couple of so called “happy clients”(out of many thousands of AFLP members) that were willing to step forward and defend Stanley and Jeffrey.
Petemn

Lakeville, MN

#27 Oct 15, 2009
Also, what's wrong with “part two” of the Norman’s business plan?? Selling large annuities with huge long-term surrender charges and high internal management fees to really old folks really rocks as a business strategy. If you are a Heritage Marketing rep that has been assigned to go to a “members” house so you can "help them" sign their trust documents, why not just kill two birds with one stone and further help by convincing that old guy and/or lady member that they should take lots of their hard earned money out of their low interest bank account and put it in your super safe fancy annuity? With hindsight, aren't some of those old people actually lucky? Because, they might have lost money if they had instead taken the money out of the bank and invested in that crazy stock market. That great secure annuity sold to them by that good looking fast talking trust-worthy Heritage Marketing sales rep. actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The sales rep just wanting to make an honest buck (well OK - admittedly it's a huge commission, but that's the American way!) in peddling that annuity. Just because Stanley and Jeffrey benefit big time by these huge commissions doesn't mean that those annuities aren't the greatest thing ever for those old people. I say, if you can get those poor sighted and confused old people to put their initials on the necessary forms, then no one should be able to question the "suitability" of your recommending that they invest a majority of their assets in those great great great super-duper annuities.
Yep, it's very clear that there must be a vast conspiracy of hundreds of blood sucking lawyers and corrupt judges in many states all around the country, all that are against the Normans and their success. Stanley and Jeffrey are just fun loving handsome guys who are only going after the "American Dream" of being really really rich. Driving fancy cars and living in multi-million dollars mansions paid with money honestly earned from poor elderly folks is so cool. I just feel horrible and upset that Jeffrey has to sell his 6 million dollar house to pay his own attorneys (definitely good guys and not blood sucking) who are working really long hours to help him fight against this great injustice.
Petemn

Lakeville, MN

#28 Oct 15, 2009
"Insider Comments" and "Curious" are so right on with their totally unbiased and well informed opinions on their espousal of the "true facts" in this 7-0 Ohio Supreme Court decision!! Outrageous, I say!

Just because Jeffrey and Stanley and their companies (AFLP and Heritage Marketing) are being sued all over the place (Ohio is just one of several states where they are being or have been sued) doesn't mean that the Normans aren't providing a valuable service for their vulnerable elderly AFLP “members.” I totally agree with “Insider Comments” and “Curious” implications that the only explanation for the 7-0 Supreme Court decision in this Ohio case is that there must be vast conspiracy by greedy blood sucking attorneys and corrupt judges all around the country, all of whom just want to pick on poor little Jeffrey and Stanley Norman.

Selling expensive boilerplate trusts (for $1995 and more) to elderly folks that have been scared (by well trained sales reps with no legal training) into believing in the massively expensive and burdensome "probate monster" seems to be a reasonable, legal, and a darn good business plan to me. And, estate planning doesn't necessarily require that there has to be any actual "planning" involved. I think the "one size fits all boilerplate trusts" for all AFLP members, no matter what their individual circumstances, just simplifies things and makes good sense to me. Discussing other less expensive and possibly more appropriate estate planning "options" would just confuse these old people. And besides, every once in a while, that boilerplate trust might just actually fit one of those old folks' actual estate planning goals. Just ask the couple of so called “satisfied members”(out of many thousands of AFLP members) that were willing to step forward and defend Stanley and Jeffrey.
Petemn

Lakeville, MN

#29 Oct 15, 2009
Don't any of you, for even one second, pay any attention to the many, many, many, old people around the country who have complained about their "membership" in the American Family Legal Plan. We all know that all of these old people (who survived the great depression and saved their silly pennies) are just a bunch of ignorant whiny old farts. And, certainly don't believe any of the thousands of pages of court evidence (from different courts around country) that appear to paint Stanley and Jeffrey out to be the "bad guys." Just keep reading "Insider Comments" and "Curious" and the comments of the couple of so-called "satisfied customers" if you want to know "the real truth" of this travesty of justice on this 7-0 decision. And, if the upcoming court decision in the case against the Normans and their companies brought by the Minnesota Attorney General goes against the Normans, then it’s just more evidence of the vastness of the conspiracy. Shame on them all!!

Good luck Stanley and Jeffrey against this vast conspiracy!
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#30 Oct 16, 2009
Petemn wrote:
"Insider Comments" and "Curious" are so right on with their totally unbiased and well informed opinions on their espousal of the "true facts" in this 7-0 Ohio Supreme Court decision!!
Another crook speaks up!

If you want to do trusts, go to law school!
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#31 Oct 16, 2009
Petemn wrote:
Don't any of you, for even one second, pay any attention to the many, many, many, old people around the country who have complained about their "membership" in the American Family Legal Plan.
The Supreme Court determines who gets to practice law and they say you need a law license. You have no right to practice law without an Ohio law license. None.

If you want to do legal work for people, go to law school~!

CROOK!
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#32 Oct 16, 2009
[QUOTE who="PetemnJust because Jeffrey and Stanley and their companies (AFLP and Heritage Marketing) are being sued all over the place [/QUOTE]

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, seperate jurisdictions are suing you "all over the place"? What does that tell you?

It tells the average person that authorities are justified for going after you because:

1) You are practicing law without a license;
2) You are providing what purports to be legal advice, and in many cases that advice is incorrect; and
3) You are peddling trusts to people who don't need them!

If you had stuck to selling insurance, you wouldn't be in trouble. But you wanted to peddle trusts to people who don't need them to pad your pockets.

I WILL REPEAT: SELLING TRUSTS TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T NEED THEM TO PAD YOUR POCKETS IS NO DIFFERENT THAN A DOCTOR WHO PERFORMS UNNECESSARY SURGERIES TO PAD HIS OWN POCKETS.

It is unethical, and it is offensive to most people.

THAT'S WHY I (AND MANY OTHERS) CONSIDER YOU C_R_O_O_K_S_!!!!!
observer

Columbus, OH

#33 Oct 16, 2009
"Bob Enzyte" has been quite entertaining in these comments. He claims to be an attorney, yet he spends most of his time witing comments on a forum. We all have your name "Bob Enzyte", and I am sure you used this forum as your marketing of seniors. Thank you for enlightening us "Bob Enzyte", relax and enjoy life a little (and maybe get some real work done).
Petemn

Lakeville, MN

#34 Oct 16, 2009
Bob,
LOL Was wondering there for a minute if you had carefully read my well thought out arguments in full support of those poor misunderstood Norman's and their great AFLP company. LOL

But, you must agree that the thick fancy three-ring binders holding those "trust documents" are quite impressive!!! WOW, with all those nice tabs separating the many important documents - proves that the documents themselves must surely be of the highest quality. Worth every cent of the $2,000 charge.

While it's true that most greedy bastard estate planning attorneys meet face to face with their clients at least twice before implementing an "estate plan," fortunately, AFLP has figured it out that any careful analysis and open communication with the client by their "independent attorney" is a big waste of time. It's silly and nonsense to think that an estate planning attorney must actually spend a lot of time clarifying and confirming each client's individual goals and financial situation before carefully discussing the various options available to meet those goals. Again, this careful analysis by AFLP's so-called "independent attorney" would be a big waste time waster, time that is better spent scaring the old folks about the big expensive "probate monster."

Face to face meetings with an actual "estate planning attorney" is the old inefficient way of doing things - the more efficient modern "AFLP way" requires only a quick phone call lasting only a few minutes (or maybe no call at all). AFLP's "independent attorney" needs only to rubber stamp the recommendation of the AFLP sales reps' that a trust is the only alternative available, and that shouldn't take much time at all.
observer

Columbus, OH

#35 Oct 16, 2009
By the way Bob Enzyte, Petemn agreed with you, and was speaking tongue and cheek. You blasted him and called him a crook in not one, but three posts! Chill Bob!
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#36 Oct 16, 2009
observer wrote:
By the way Bob Enzyte, Petemn agreed with you, and was speaking tongue and cheek. You blasted him and called him a crook in not one, but three posts! Chill Bob!
Wasn't paying attention, just assumed it was another insurance crook!

We all make mistakes!
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#37 Oct 16, 2009
Petemn wrote:
Bob,
LOL Was wondering there for a minute if you had carefully read my well thought out arguments in full support of those poor misunderstood Norman's and their great AFLP company. LOL
But, you must agree that the thick fancy three-ring binders holding those "trust documents" are quite impressive!!! WOW, with all those nice tabs separating the many important documents - proves that the documents themselves must surely be of the highest quality. Worth every cent of the $2,000 charge.
While it's true that most greedy **** estate planning attorneys meet face to face with their clients at least twice before implementing an "estate plan," fortunately, AFLP has figured it out that any careful analysis and open communication with the client by their "independent attorney" is a big waste of time. It's silly and nonsense to think that an estate planning attorney must actually spend a lot of time clarifying and confirming each client's individual goals and financial situation before carefully discussing the various options available to meet those goals. Again, this careful analysis by AFLP's so-called "independent attorney" would be a big waste time waster, time that is better spent scaring the old folks about the big expensive "probate monster."
Face to face meetings with an actual "estate planning attorney" is the old inefficient way of doing things - the more efficient modern "AFLP way" requires only a quick phone call lasting only a few minutes (or maybe no call at all). AFLP's "independent attorney" needs only to rubber stamp the recommendation of the AFLP sales reps' that a trust is the only alternative available, and that shouldn't take much time at all.
Thanks to the other person who pointed out that you were being facetious. I am at work, sitting at a desk, and arguing with these insurance salesmen does provide an entertaining diversion.

Take out all of the obvious reasons an insurance salesman shouldn't be doing estate planning for you, what's most comical to me is THAT THEY CHARGE THE SAME AMOUNT FOR A TRUST THAT MOST ATTORNEYS CHARGE, OR AT LEAST ARE IN THE SAME PRICE RANGE.

NOT ONLY WEREN'T THE CLIENTS GETTING ANY LEGAL ADVICE, THEY WEREN'T SAVING ANY MONEY!!!!!

LMAO!
Enzyte Bob

Powell, OH

#38 Oct 16, 2009
observer wrote:
"Bob Enzyte" has been quite entertaining in these comments. He claims to be an attorney, yet he spends most of his time witing comments on a forum. We all have your name "Bob Enzyte", and I am sure you used this forum as your marketing of seniors. Thank you for enlightening us "Bob Enzyte", relax and enjoy life a little (and maybe get some real work done).
It's a cheap diversion, what can I say?
Insider Comments

Ladera Ranch, CA

#39 Oct 17, 2009
Enzyte Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
The Supreme Court sets the rules about who can practice law and how they can practice it. One longstanding rule is that lawyers cannot split fees with non lawyers.
Let's clarify this. When selling a lawfully registered legal plan in the state of Ohio (as American Famiy was for 8 years), consumers are charged a "membership fee", not a legal fee. Therefore, fee splitting does not exist in transactions for membership fees.

You can review these rules on the American Prepaid Legal Services Institute (the ABA's affiliate) that provides regulations for the proper sale of legal plans. By the way, American Family was a long standing members of the association and followed its guidelines. Millions of Prepaid Legal Plans have been sold throughout the country, yet none of them have been accused of fee splitting with attorneys.
Insider Comments

Ladera Ranch, CA

#40 Oct 17, 2009
Enzyte Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
The attorney in this matter had no client contact and was effectively representing American Family but drafting documents for another party. That is effecively a conflict of interest.
We must correct the evidence hear. American Family's plan attorney, Edward Brueggeman, did have consultations with every client (or plan member). Here's a portion of his deposition testimony the the Columbus Bar Association covered up with their misrepresentations:

"As either Cindy or I are doing the interview process on the phone, as we are reaching decisions, conclusions, making notes, writing things down at the end of that discussion, we'll usually talk with the client and say, well, it seems to me this is appropriate, or that's appropriate or here are your options, what do you think? And we try to see if we can reach some understanding with the client at that time about how
we'll proceed."

Joyce Edelman from Porter Wright Law Firm was responsible for the Columbus Bar Association's allegations. She alleged the American Family plan attorney had no contact with clients, and just signed of on documents already sold and prepared by American Family (similar to the Sharp case).

My question to you Bob, if that is true, why was American Family's plan attorney testifying under oath about how he and his firm attorney conducted consultations with American Family clients?

Also, where's the evidence in this case that attorneys did not talk with clients. Evidence exists that attorneys consulted with clients, but no evidence exits that attorneys did not consult with clients. Strange contradictions in allegations vs. evidence, wouldn't ya say!!

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