Two insurers to pay $117,000 to Pennsylvanians after major investment scam
August 21, 2019 by Christian Hetrick
Two life insurance companies have agreed to pay more than $117,000 to refund 25 Pennsylvanians who were sold financial products that unnecessarily cost them thousands of dollars, the state Insurance Department said Tuesday.
A pair of agents from Pittsburgh, Donald L. Gilberg and Nicole P. Gilberg, convinced consumers to replace their annuities with new ones, resulting in sometimes large surrender charges on the original annuities and tying up the funds for years, the department said. Annuities are financial products, often used for retirement planning, that require an upfront investment but guarantees regular payments in the future.
The husband-and-wife couple made more than $136,000 in commissions by selling annuities from Oxford Life, based in Phoenix, and Sentinel Security Life, based in Salt Lake City, the department said. The Insurance Department revoked their licenses last year.
Several victims said they were never told they would incur any charges, the department said. In some cases, victims received calls and letters from the insurance companies asking why they wanted to change their annuities, but were told by the Gilbergs to ignore them.