A Sauk Rapids, Minn., adviser has been charged with securities fraud, insurance fraud and theft in connection with fraudulent insurance and gold bullion transactions that cost investors more than $200,000.
Lisa Marie Schurhammer, a former licensed insurance producer who operated a financial planning business called Retirement America, advised victims to cash out their existing annuities and buy new ones with a different insurance company, the Minnesota Commerce Department said in a release about the case. She received commissions on these transactions because she did not make the required disclosures that these were replacement annuities, which would have prevented her from receiving the commissions.
The department found that when Ms. Schurhammer advised victims to buy gold products as investments, she used some of the money for personal expenses, including gambling. In two instances, she also had the victims return gold products to her, falsely claiming they were counterfeit and then selling them without fully reimbursing the victims.
The investigation of Ms. Schurhammer, conducted by the Minnesota Commerce Department's enforcement division, was the basis for the state's criminal case as well as the revocation of Ms. Schurhammer's insurance producer license.
The Commerce Department said Ms. Schurhammer never had the required state registration to solicit, market, buy, sell or deliver bullion coins.