Future Income Payments Reportedly Costs Investors More Than $100 Million
Future Income Payments, a company run from a mailbox located in a strip mall just outside of Las Vegas, recently shut down, potentially costing investors more than $100 million. At least 25 states have already started investigations into the company or have taken enforcement actions against it, and investors plan to sue the brokerage and investment firms that sold Future Income Payments products. The investment fraud attorneys at Meyer Wilson are investigating claims on behalf of individuals who were sold these investments by brokers and brokerage firms.
The company, run by Scott Kohn, who previously pled guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods back in 2006 and served 15 months in federal prison, operated by essentially selling investors other people’s pensions. Future Income Payments would reach out to workers who were entitled to pension payments and buy the rights to them, which essentially lent the pension beneficiaries money in return for future pension income, something that is commonly referred to as a “pension advance”. The company would then sell the rights to investors for a lump sum payment – for example, investors could pay $100,000 in return for a seven percent income over five years.
However, the sudden shutdown of Future Income Payments has left investors in the dark. According to court documents, the company is not collecting the pension money it used to fund the investors’ payments. Investors are scrambling to make heads or tails of this potential blow to their financial futures. Two of those investors, JC and Mary Barb, spoke with the Wall Street Journal, and said that their financial adviser, Kevin Kraemer, convinced them to invest approximately $78,000 with the company in 2017.
“[Kraemer] came to us and said, ‘Hey we can make some more money on your money,’ [and] sold us this new deal,” said Mrs. Barb, a 66-year-old retired postal worker. Her husband, a 63-year-old retired teacher, said the money “was to be a big help to us in our retirement and now it’s not there, it’s gone.”
Private-market products, like those offered by companies like Future Income Payments, don’t need to follow the same rules set for publicly traded investments. These types of products often come with high commissions for financial advisers, and they’re often sold to retired people who are looking for an investment with better returns than those offered by bonds and similar savings products. In some reported instances, people have been advised to refinance homes or even cash in pensions to buy private-market products.
Earlier this year, Kohn sent out a letter to investors stating that Future Income Payments was facing,
“intense regulatory pressure and legal expense,” and investors had been told there were “no guarantees [they] would receive all payments.”
State regulators have been taking action against the company since at least 2014 over alleged illegal lending based on the terms it bought pension benefits under. According to some states, Future Income Payments allegedly breached state laws that limit the amount of interest that can be charged on a loan. In one case, a disabled Gulf War veteran from Minnesota was required to send $450 from his pension benefits over five years after borrowing $2,700, a 200 percent annual percentage rate.
Despite the growing number of state regulatory actions taken against the company, financial advisers and advisory firms continued to sell the products, many of which were sold as part of a retirement-savings strategy.
According to company records, Future Income Payments was formed in 2011 by Kohn, and its mailing address is the same as dozens of other companies he has set up over the years, most of which are now defunct. He set up FIP, LLC in 2016, a separate company that uses the URL https://futureincomepayments.com/. It is controlled by a corporation based in the Philippines, also owned by Kohn.
Losing money in an investment fraud scheme is a hard notion to face, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our investment fraud lawyers at Meyer Wilson have spent years fighting to recover investors’ stolen and lost finances, and through our efforts we have secured more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements. If you lost money investing with Scott Kohn or his company, Future Income Payments, call us at (800) 738-1960 to discuss your legal options with a member of our firm over the phone, or fill out our online form today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will work with you to put together a plan of action that will put you in the best position to secure the maximum compensation possible.