by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
A class action lawsuit filed September 14, 2017, alleges Portsmouth Virginia Circuit Court judges were complicit in an "Annuity Fraud Enterprise" scheme, in which a Virginia lawyer and 79th District delegate Stephen E. Heretick was the central figure, representing JG Wentworth, Seneca One, 321 Henderson Receivables and other settlement purchasers, that allegedly violated the rights of thousands of structured settlement annuitants.
According to the Complaint, Heretick hatched the scheme, which was designed entirely to defeat the regulatory scheme (which was designed to protect structured settlement annuitants), and to enable sales of the income streams from SSAs on terms that:
a would never be accepted by a beneficiary of an SSA if the beneficiary had been advised by a well-informed and objective advisor; and
b. would never be approved after meaningful judicial review.
The scheme evaded the state and federal requirements identified above by creating what was, in name only, a judicial review process but which was, in reality, a rubber stamp for virtually every transaction brought before complicit judges by Defendant Heretick (numbering in the thousands!).
The structured settlement secondary market faces its second blistering lawsuit in a week
This is the second blistering lawsuit filed about alleged bad business practices in the structured settlement secondary market in the space of one week that includes allegation of forum shopping of annuitants to places where they allegedly did not live and representations to the courts that they did. There are a lot of issues being raised and some important commentary regarding the potential implications to sellers, individual investors and individual investors in structured settlement derivatives ( "secondary market annuities") so I am going to break this out over several posts.
Larry G. Dockery, On behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs v Stephen E. Heretick, 321 Henderson Receivables, LLC, JG Wentworth Receivables, LLC, Seneca One Finance, Inc., Structured Settlement Investments, LP, Structured Settlement Purchaser John Doe Inc. Purchaser Defendants 1-100 and John Doe Individual Defendants 1-100 and New York Life Insurance Company, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Symetra et al*. United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case 2:2017:cv-04114-MMB
* note the life insurers are only listed and referenced as nominal parties in the complaint. A nominal party is a defendant included in a lawsuit because of a technical connection with the matter in dispute and who is necessary for the court to decide all issues and make a proper judgment. However nominal defendants have no responsibility, no fault, and no right to recover.
Class members in "Annuity Fraud Enterprises "Lawsuit
- The proceeding occurred in the Portsmouth, Virginia Circuit
- The proceeding was presided over by one of the Complicit
- The beneficiary waived his or her right to counsel, and was not
represented by counsel;
- The petition approving the sale was approved either on the
same day it was filed or within two weeks thereafter, and
without the court's meaningful review of any evidence;
- The beneficiary was not present during the proceedings
Counts in the Class Action Complaint Dockery et al v Stephen E. Heretick et al.
I Violation of RICO 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) (the Annuity Fraud Enterprises)
The Purchaser Defendant acted to perpetrate the fraud by inducing each of the victim sellers to abandon the right each of them had to independent counsel or advice regarding the Purchase transactions. It did this, as alleged, by
I. Instructing each victim to execute a document in which the victim stated that he or she had been advised that he or she had the right to independent advice or counsel, while
ii Simultaneously, it also informed each and every victim that in fact they could not exercise this right in any way, because if they did the transaction would be either completely impossible to consummate or would take immeasurably longer to close.
Each Purchaser Defendant hired and paid Heretick to file these documents and to develop and operate the agreement with the Complicit Judges, pursuant to
which the court would accept and approve petitions even when they
i. Were filed in bulk
ii. Waived each victim's right to counsel and to independent financial advice
iii.Were presented at hearings at which the victim seller was not
present and so could not be questioned by the court
iv. Included victims who were residents of and domiciled in other states, whom the Purchaser Defendants had arranged to travel to Virginia and make fraudulent representations that they were domiciled there
I FOR VIOLATION OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCE AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) (the 321 Henderson Enterprise)
III FOR VIOLATION OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCE AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) (the Wentworth Enterprise)
IV FOR VIOLATION OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCE AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) (the Seneca Enterprise)
V. FOR VIOLATION OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCE AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) (the SSILP Enterprise)
VI FOR CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE RICO
UNDER 18 U.S.C. §1962(d)
VII FOR UNJUST ENRICHMENT
VIII FOR DEPRIVATION OF PLAINTIFFS' RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW
IN VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. §I983
IX FOR A CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST AGAINST ALL DEFENDANTS AND ALL NOMINAL DEFENDANTS
X. FOR BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY AND AIDING AND ABETTING BREACH OF