Federal authorities have seized almost $320,000 and two autos from Black Harbor Wealth Administration founder Chris Dixon and his spouse in reference to a prison case highlighted in Indebted, the yearlong investigation by The Greenville Information into the shopping for and promoting of navy advantages.
Black Harbor has workplaces in Greenville and Seneca, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina.
In keeping with a courtroom doc filed final week, $240,119.63 was seized from Dixon’s annuity contract with American Fairness Life Insurance coverage Firm on June three. On the identical day, $61,699.29 belonging to Dixon’s spouse, Connie, was seized from a life insurance coverage account and one other $18,048.11 was seized from the couple’s joint account at South State Financial institution.
The identical courtroom doc states that federal authorities seized a 2014 Maserati Ghibli and a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado from Chris Dixon on June 12.
Monetary schemes have focused veterans since earlier than the web in a minimum of 33 states, however courtroom circumstances in Greenville, SC, might mark a brand new period.
Josh Morgan, Greenville Information
The seizure of these belongings stems from prison costs in opposition to 4 former executives with an organization referred to as Future Earnings Funds, which supplied money advances from buyers to financially struggling veterans. The veterans agreed to make use of their navy incapacity advantages or pensions to repay the cash at annual rates of interest as excessive as 240%, in response to allegations in a minimum of one lawsuit.
Seven judges in six states, together with South Carolina, have dominated that these transactions are unlawful.
A federal grand jury in Greenville has indicted firm founder Scott Kohn, former firm monetary officers Kraig Aiken and David Kennally, and Joseph Hipp, who managed investor solicitations for the corporate, on a cost of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Aiken has agreed to plead responsible to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, courtroom data present.
Information obtained by the FBI point out 2,600 buyers misplaced a minimum of $451 million when Future Earnings Funds collapsed final 12 months. A number of the individuals who misplaced cash are former shoppers of Black Harbor, which was a part of a nationwide community of 300 insurance coverage brokers and monetary advisors that helped Future Earnings Funds discover buyers.
A federal decide signed an order Friday giving the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace till Feb. three to file a forfeiture motion associated to the belongings that have been seized from Chris and Connie Dixon. In keeping with the order, Assistant U.S. Lawyer Invoice Watkins anticipates extra costs will probably be filed within the Future Earnings Funds case inside three months. The order notes that Chris and Connie Dixon are contesting the forfeiture of their seized belongings.
The property seized from the Dixons is amongst about $5 million in belongings recognized by authorities that ultimately may very well be used to compensate buyers for his or her losses from the collapse of Future Earnings Funds
Dixon could not be reached for remark, however Dixon’s legal professional, Benjamin Biard, issued a textual content assertion to The Information Wednesday:
“Mr. Dixon did not take part within the wrongdoing of FIP (Future Earnings Funds), has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and assisted the federal government in its efforts to prosecute FIP, Scott Kohn and precise wrongdoers,” Biard mentioned.
In addition to the seizure of belongings, Chris Dixon and Black Harbor are dealing with six civil lawsuits in Anderson and Richland counties in South Carolina. The fits have been filed by Columbia legal professional Robert Rikard on behalf of 60 of Black Harbor’s former shoppers who allege that they suffered “devastating” losses when Future Earnings Funds folded. Most of these former shoppers reside in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties.
Chris Dixon and Black Harbor deny lots of the allegations in Rikard’s lawsuits, courtroom data present.
From 2016 to 2018, Black Harbor peddled a monetary plan that included life insurance coverage insurance policies with a dying profit and a supply of retirement earnings. Purchasers additionally have been inspired to purchase a second funding to fund the annual life insurance coverage premiums.
Many of those shoppers did not know the second funding was a money advance to veterans by Future Earnings Funds, in response to allegations in lawsuits. After the corporate failed and stopped amassing from veterans, Black Harbor’s shoppers couldn’t afford the life premiums. After they defaulted on the premiums, the shoppers misplaced most or all of their cash.
Mary Orem, a 58-year-old former highschool librarian from Pendleton, mentioned she misplaced about $44,000 that she invested with Black Harbor, jeopardizing her retirement plans.
“I fear I’m not going to have sufficient,” she mentioned.
Dolores Stegelin, a 72-year-old retired Clemson College professor, mentioned she invested $105,000 to purchase two life insurance coverage insurance policies for her youngsters after she and her husband attended a seminar hosted by Chris Dixon at a Ruth’s Chris Steak Home. She mentioned a considerable portion of her funding vanished when Future Earnings Funds collapsed final 12 months.
Stegelin, who now lives in Columbia, mentioned Dixon appeared aggressive and vivid.
“He did say lots of people have been shopping for it within the Upstate, lots of people like me who had retired within the Upstate,” she mentioned.
Stegelin mentioned she has discovered a tough lesson.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it’s most likely not legit.”
Learn or Share this story: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/information/native/2019/11/07/black-harbor-ceo-has-assets-seized-military-benefits-case/2509717001/