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Judge Rules against Mutual Benefits in Favor of Sec

11/10/2004

CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842                                                   
TALLAHASSEE-Un juez magistrado federal ratificó hoy los hallazgos de la Comisión de Bolsa y Valores de Estados Unidos (SEC) sobre Mutual Benefits Corporation (MBC), la compañía de acuerdo de viáticos más grande de la nación, involucrada en violaciones de ley de valores e inversionistas defraudados. 
 
El Departamento de Servicios Financieros (DFS) y la Oficina de Regulación de Seguros (OIR) citaron muchos de los mismos alegatos en cargos administrativos presentados contra la compañía en mayo. 
 
"This recommended order goes a long way toward protecting Florida investors by upholding the hard work of SEC investigators and the actions they took," said Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees DFS. "That in turn lends itself to upholding the findings of state regulators and our aggressive pursuit of those intent on taking advantage of our citizens."
 
Kevin McCarty, Comisionado de la Oficina de Regulación de Seguros, aceptó y elogió tanto a su equipo de investigación como a la SEC por el increíble trabajo de investigación que realizaron.
 
Barry L. Garber, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, recommended granting the SEC's motion for preliminary injunction to stop
MBC from continuing its operations in light of these troubling findings by the SEC:
· 90 percent of MBC viators had lived beyond life expectancies.
· 74 percent of policies have a negative escrow balance.
· MBC misused investor funds by paying, in a Ponzi-like fashion, the insurance premiums on older policies with new investors' monies.
· MBC has been subject to cease and desist orders from at least five state regulatory agencies
· Joel Steinger, defacto CEO of MBC, has a prior criminal conviction for wire and mail fraud.
· The Steinger brothers have extensive disciplinary histories.
· The defendants and relief defendants paid themselves millions of dollars pursuant to undisclosed consulting agreements.
· MBC was selling interest in group policies without converting them into individual policies prior to purchase and was not disclosing the corresponding risk of investing in group policies.
 
U.S. Judge Frederico A. Moreno will issue a final ruling on the SEC's motion after hearing responses to Magistrate Judge Garber's findings.