The Massachusetts Securities Division charged Ronald J. Leger with making millions of dollars worth of unregistered life settlement deals.
Leger, a certified public accountant, was not registered to sell securities, according to a complaint filed Thursday by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office. Nor were the companies he created, New England Alternative Investments and Fund Management LLC.
Through NEAI, Leger sold “at least” $3.7 million fractional interests in life settlements to 29 investors, the complaint reads. Through Fund Management, Leger sold more than $2 million worth of limited partnership interests to 40 investors, the complaint reads.
Leger, who also founded three investment funds, failed to register the funds or the limited partnership interests with the Massachusetts Securities Division, the complaint reads.
The division is working on a controversial proposal to impose a uniform fiduciary conduct standard on broker-dealers, agents, investment advisors and investment advisor representatives providing financial advice to any clients in Massachusetts.
If the rules become law, financial recommendations and advice must be based on “what is best for the customers and clients, without regard to the interests of the broker-dealer, advisory firm and its personnel,” Galvin has said.
‘Beyond What He Was Allowed’
Leger began his career as a CPA in 1987 and soon completed a master’s degree in taxation, the complaint said. In 2010, however, he “expanded his business beyond what he was allowed to do by law” and he started selling Life Partners, Inc. life settlements, the complaint reads.
Through NEAI, Leger made nearly $150,000 in commissions from life settlement sales to Massachusetts’ residents alone, the complaint reads.
Based in Texas, LPI has had its own legal problems. On Dec. 2, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ordered LPI to pay $46.9 million in civil penalties and restitution for violations of federal securities’ laws. LPI filed for bankruptcy protection shortly afterward, although the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2016.
Galvin’s office is asking the court to order Leger and his companies to give up all profits from the illegal life partnership transactions, and compensate all victims. Also, the complaint asks the court to permanently ban Leger’s companies from doing business in Massachusetts, and Leger from ever doing business as an investment advisor.
The complaint also asks the court to fine Leger an amount it deems appropriate.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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