Life’s Savings Up In Smoke, Couple Says

     SAN ANTONIO (CN) – A retired couple claims Eagle Mountain Financial Services charged them $6,500 to lose their life savings of $450,000 in a bogus “life settlement contract.”




     Gary and Janet Williams say Kristen Bashford of Eagle Mountain charged them $6,500 to invest $450,000 in a life settlement contract with National Life Settlements LLC.
     A few days later, the Williamses say they learned the man running National Life Settlements, Howard Judah, had felony convictions for wire fraud and money laundering.
     Since both Williamses had retired from different divisions of USAA, they say they relied on co-defendant USAA Financial Planning Services Insurance Agency to give them a second opinion before investing in Bashford’s contract. The Williamses say USAA Financial Planning reviewed the information and didn’t see any problem with the investment.
     They say USAA also took an “advisory services” fee from them after referring them to Bashford.
     “Like many other investors who trusted Bashford and others promoting the life settlement contracts, Mr. and Mrs. Williams were duped into an investment scam, and their money was gone,” according to the complaint in Bexar County Court.
     They want their money back and exemplary damages for violations of the Texas Securities Act and breach of fiduciary duty. They are represented Herb Pounds.

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