American Equity Investors Get Nod On Fraud Settlements

By Matthew Heller (September 16, 2013, 10:02 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge on Monday preliminarily approved a settlement of two consumer protection class actions against American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. that will provide annuitization bonuses and other benefits to about 140,000 seniors who were allegedly duped into buying deferred annuities.

The suits, which were brought in 2005 and 2006 and were consolidated in a proceeding before U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder, included claims for violations of the federal civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and various consumer protection laws, including California's elder abuse law.

According to the complaints, American Equity, which specializes in the development and...

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