In the News: Life Partners

Odds Skew Against Investors in Bets on Strangers’s Lives

In the summer of 2005, a firm called Life Partners Holdings Inc. said Marvin Aslett, an Idaho rancher 79 years old, had two to four years to live.

It didn’t make this estimate on his behalf but for its customers. The company arranges to buy life-insurance policies from people like Mr. Aslett and sells fractional interests to investors, who collect the death benefits when the insured people die.

Life Partners Sued by SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Life Partners Holdings Inc. and three top executives, alleging a years-long disclosure and accounting fraud that involved misleading financial statements and backdated documents shown to auditors.

Life Partners Holdings Defrauded Investors

A Texas company that sold more than $1.3 billion of fractional interests in individuals’ life-insurance policies to more than 20,000 people operated a “wide-ranging scheme to defraud its investors,” according to the first substantive filing from a bankruptcy trustee appointed in March to oversee the company, Life Partners Holdings Inc.

Texas Jury Finds Life Partners Founder Committed Fraud

A Texas jury said Life Partners Inc. founder Brian Pardo committed fraud while running the life-settlements firm before its collapse, awarding more than $65 million in damages that could flow to some of its customers.