Insurance agents told not to sell viatical pacts

Saturday, June 15, 2002

A Perryville man is one of two Missouri insurance agents who has been ordered not to sell investments in viatical settlement contracts to residents unless they are registered as securities.

William R. Tweedy of Perryville and Christopher D. Menfee of Ozark sold the investments for Beneficial Assistance Inc., of Baltimore. Secretary of State Matt Blunt ordered them not to sell or offer the investments. Viatical contracts provide interest in the sale of a life insurance policy. People with a terminal illness may assign their life insurance policies to viatical, which provides a cash payment for a percentage of the policy's face value.

The viatical company may sell the policy to a third-party. Two residents paid nearly $34,000 for interest in the contracts offered by Tweedy and Menefee. They were told that after investing, Beneficial Assistance would identify profitable interest in viatical contracts.

Both Tweedy and Menefee are licensed insurance agents but do not have licenses to sell securities.

Blunt said the shared interests in the contracts offered by Tweedy and Menefee are investment contracts "because the investment was based on the claimed expertise and promised efforts of Beneficial Assistance."

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