Penn. Insurance Department Announces Restitution for Consumers in Annuity Scam
August 26, 2019 by Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said her department has gotten more than $117,000 in restitution for 25 Pennsylvania consumers victimized in a major annuity scam.
“I am pleased we were able to recover this money for Pennsylvanians, many of them elderly, who were taken advantage of by two licensed insurance agents,” Altman said in a press release issued by her department. “These agents convinced consumers to replace annuities they had previously purchased with new ones, resulting in sometimes large surrender charges on the original annuities, and the money being tied up for several more years.”
The agents, Donald L. and Nicole P. Gilberg, acting as a husband wife team, made more than $136,000 in commissions on these inappropriate annuity sales. Both agents’ insurance licenses were revoked after an extensive investigation by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
Several scam victims testified they were never told they would incur any charges for replacing their existing annuities before they matured but were told only the new annuities would have higher interest rates. The victims in some cases received calls and letters from the insurance companies for which the agents sold the annuities questioning why the annuity holders wanted to make the changes but were told by the Gilbergs to ignore them.