Thursday, June 02, 2011

Stoli (with a) Twist

As we continue to follow the strange case of the Life Partners debacle, Bob tipped me to this related item:

"Gilbert Eastin’s finances have fallen steeply from 2008, when the West Bloomfield man’s net worth was estimated at more than $2.5 billion ... Eastin, 82, is being sued for more than $2 million in U.S. District Court in Detroit, accused of inflating his net worth to obtain millions of dollars in life insurance."

His (alleged) mark? John Hancock Life, which was somehow persuaded to approve $50 million in coverage.

$50 Million??

One can only imagine the medical exam for that much insurance.

As we saw with the LP fiasco, this appears to be a growing, if not already widespread, problem:

"Insurance industry experts say the allegations appear to match a pattern of fraud emerging nationwide. Senior citizens are recruited to inflate their net worth ... and then transfer the policies to investors in exchange for money."

On the one hand, I still maintain that a legitimately purchased life insurance policy is the same as property (that is, the owner is free to dispose of it as he or she sees fit). The problem, of course, is that these policies are, in fact, fraudulently purchased, and enjoy no such latitude.

The alleged "victim" here earns The World's Smallest Violin:

"Eastin now admits he's no billionaire ... The retired Chrysler plant supervisor says he's a victim of shadowy businessmen from New York."

Of course, of course.

"Crooks will do a lot of things to develop a patsy," says the perp, er, "victim."

But he was the one who completed the application, took the exam, and presented whatever false documentation was necessary to "perpetrate the fraud" in the first place.

All he had to say was "no."
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