BTG Represents Investors Who Lost Life Savings to FastLife Scheme
Annuities are often marketed to older investors as a way to manage their income in retirement. But lurking behind promises of long-term financial security can be risks that far outweigh potential benefits. When annuity sellers withhold information from investors, it may be impossible to accurately gauge the investment’s risk/reward ratio, leaving the buyer holding a product that might doom their retirement prospects.
The Business Trial Group recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of two investors who purchased annuities from FastLife, a brokerage firm in Sarasota, Florida (officially registered as Phillip Roy Financial Consultants, LLC, d/b/a Fastlife). According to the lawsuit, FastLife has failed to make interest and principal payments required by the annuities; and a Fastlife representative, Kenneth Rossman, failed to disclose conflicts of interest. Our clients have lost their entire life savings—and other investors could similarly fall prey to FastLife’s marketing tactics.
Did you lose money on a FastLife investment that was not fully explained to you? Talk to a lawyer for free.
Lawsuit Claims FastLife Seeks Majority of Investments From Vulnerable Seniors
FastLife sells life insurance, annuity, and long-term care products. On its Facebook page, FastLife represents itself as “the leader in retirement planning and retirement income planning.” The owner and operator of FastLife, Phillip Wasserman, describes himself as a “top expert in the field of Annuities” who frequently guest lectures and speaks on the topics of annuities, long-term care, estate planning, and retirement income.
Our clients attended an annuities seminar in 2013 presented by Wasserman and Kenneth Rossman. They later agreed to purchase FastLife annuities recommended by Rossman. The lawsuit alleges that Rossman claimed the annuities were “a great investment that would achieve 12% interest.” However, the lawsuit adds, Rossman failed to disclose that he worked for FastLife, received commissions on all FastLife investments he sold, and had a previous business relationship with Wasserman.
“Rossman failed to disclose that he had knowledge that Wasserman had prior history of bad investments or unpaid investment returns or other suspicious investment securities conduct. Rossman also failed to disclose that FastLife sought the majority of its investments from vulnerable elderly seniors,” the lawsuit states.
Our clients entered into contracts with FastLife for over $600,000 worth of investments by way of promissory notes. Under the contract terms, FastLife agreed to repay our clients the principal amount they invested, plus twelve percent interest. However, to date, FastLife has failed to make the required interest and principal payments, the lawsuit claims, resulting in the investors losing their funds and having to sell other assets to cover their losses. The lawsuit asserts breach of promissory note, negligence, professional negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Beware Investment Fraud Red Flags
The SEC notes that older Americans are frequent targets of investment schemes. To avoid being the victim of a scheme, senior investors should watch out for red flags—some of which are found with FastLife and its marketing techniques.
SEC, for example, cautions seniors to watch out for “Promises of High Returns with Little or No Risk.” FastLife’s Facebook page appears to meet this criteria when it promises “Guaranteed 6 – 8% income. Unlimited upside!” SEC reminds investors, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
SEC also urges investors to check the financial professional’s background for potential problems, such as prior legal or disciplinary action and customer complaints. Tools such as FINRA’s BrokerCheck, or even an internet search, may uncover past misdeeds that warn new investors to stay away.
A 2007 Sarasota Herald-Tribune article reports numerous complaints with state regulator against Wasserman, as well as lawsuits that sound very similar to the BTG’s FastLife case. One couple that sued Wasserman’s company said they were pitched the investment over a free meal at a seminar—itself a red flag. Another red flag is that Wasserman used different names (including Phillip Roy Wasserman, Phillip R. Wasserman, and currently, Phil Roy Wasserman) while changing firm names from Phillip Roy Financial Services to Phillip Roy Financial Consultants to FastLife Insurance.
Of course, in the BTG’s lawsuit, the broker’s connections to Wasserman were concealed, so the investors could not perform due diligence. But when an adviser misrepresents or omits material information about an investment, and the investor loses money, the investor may have a legal claim for investment losses.
Contingency-Fee Florida Investment Loss Lawyers
Annuities — especially variable annuities — have inherent risks that investors should understand before purchasing them. But no matter how safe a product looks on the surface, if information about the investment and/or investment firm are left out, investors cannot provide informed consent.
Business Trial Group attorneys have helped investors recover tens of millions of dollars in losses. We combine the resources of a 500-plus attorney firm with a contingency-fee model that lets investors pursue a full recovery, without the burden or risk of high hourly fees. If you are the victim of investment misconduct, contact the Business Trial Group for a free case review.