Following what has become an unfortunate tradition of promoting structured settlement "one hit wonders" at its annual meeting (such as Professor Adam Scales and his erstwhile paper), the Society of Settlement Planners apparently intends to delve even deeper into the bowels of industry history to fete Kevin A. Mack, a former officer of the Travelers Property & Casualty as the settlement planners' latter day Frank Abagnale, Jr. How amusing!
Fraud consultant Frank Abagnale, Jr. subject of the 2002 Steven Speilberg biopic Catch Me If You Can. Now he is one of the world's foremost authorities on document fraud, including check swindling, forgery and embezzlement and more than 14,000 financial institutions use his fraud prevention programs.
Purportedly Mack will use the "relevance" of HIS experience (that ended over 11 years ago) taking a pay check for years from the company that he blew the whistle on in 1998, for a practice that involved a program that he managed, to talk about in house property and casualty structured settlement programs today. The legend was that his termination from Travelers purportedly had to do with the alleged sale of names of Travelers' annuitants directly or indirectly to the factoring industry.
Kevin A. Mack isn't likely to be anywhere near as interesting as Frank Abagnale, Jr. and how likely is it Leonardo DiCaprio will be appearing in a role in Mack's biopic?
It wasn't hard to determine which rabble rouser was responsible for this "programming coup", Tulsa lawyer Richard. B. "He Can't Seem To Let It Go" Risk, Jr, whose website contains the only reference to Kevin A. Mack in a Google Search dated February 21, 2009 (save this blog post by the time you read this). If there was that much of interest in Kevin Mack wouldn't there be more references?
Newsletters published in 2002 and 2003 and posted on the Risk Law Firm web site refer to "a well-circulated letter within the structured settlement industry written by Kevin A. Mack, who had headed the Travelers Property and Casualty Insurance Company’s structured settlement program until January 1, 1998, when Ringler Associates, Inc., and Wells and Associates allegedly took over through a rebating deal. The letter, dated February 16, 1998, and addressed to the Internal Revenue Service and several state regulatory agencies, represented that Travelers had “received in excess of $30 million in rebates over the last 15 years” from a reported $2.5 billion in annuities, which the company had purchased during that period. Litigation between Mack and his former employer was settled out of court".
I am neither a member of the Society of Settlement Planners nor do I contest the right of free speech granted by our Constitution. As a Registered Settlement Planner however, I wonder how relevant Kevin Mack is? How relevant or significant is Kevin Mack compared to someone who currently runs a property casualty program? Was anyone even asked? Will we soon see "in the name of settlement planning" or "structured settlements", some moping dork waving outdated propaganda to plaintiff attorneys or regulators near you? You know the type, they've done it before.
As you know I'm all for shining the light on bad business practices. Given the dynamic changes in an industry that is a subset of an even more dynamic financial services industry why not simply try to keep things current?