Retiree Says She Lost Nest Egg to Ponzi Scheme | Courthouse News Service
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Retiree Says She Lost Nest Egg to Ponzi Scheme

DALLAS (CN) - A securities broker with Financial Broker Group convinced a woman to invest her retirement nest egg in "unnecessary and excessive life insurance products" and a single equity investment, which turned out to be a "catastrophic" Ponzi scheme, the woman claims in Dallas County Court.

Susan Jean Barber says her mortgage broker, Joshua Spivey, introduced her to Arturo Valdez, an allegedly licensed broker with Financial Broker Group. He recommended two $250,000 life insurance policies with Life Insurance Companies of the Southwest, for whom he was an insurance agent. He persuaded her to buy them by showing "unrealistically optimistic rates of return," Barber claims.

And when Barber said she didn't have the cash flow to pay the $24,000 annual premiums, Valdez steered her to buy into Sun Village Juan Dolio, a purported resort development company run by "two unscrupulous Canadian brothers named Elliott," the lawsuit claims. Sun Village allegedly targeted vulnerable retirees and was little more than a Ponzi scheme. Even if it was legitimate, she adds, it didn't fit her needs. "It was an ultra-risky investment not suitable for retirement accounts in any amount and certainly not for 100% of Ms. Barber's life savings," the complaint states.

Barber demands $1 million in actual damages, plus punitive damages.

She is represented by Alan Busch with Busch & Myers.

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