Minnesota Fines Agent $250K

December 4, 2009

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has issued a $250,000 fine against Michael Antonello, an insurance agent the department previously accused of insurance fraud. It is the largest fine levied against an individual by the department in recent memory. Antonello’s agency is Wealth Management Advisors LLC.

In a 39-page order for summary suspension issued in the spring, Department of Commerce investigators allege that Antonello secured 44 life insurance policies from October of 1999 to December of 2004 on the life of John Paulson totaling $127,750,000.

In order to secure that much insurance for one man, Antonello allegedly misrepresented to the insurance companies the total amount of coverage already in force for Mr. Paulson.

The department alleges he also incorrectly indicated on several applications that policies already in force for Mr. Paulson would be replaced by newer policies.

Antonello received large commissions from the sale of these policies and also profited from selling each of the policies to investors in the Stranger Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) marketplace after the two year incontestability period. STOLI policies are purchased by investors who take over the premium payments until the insured dies, at which time the investor receives the death benefit.

The consent order is available online at http://www.commerce.state.mn.us/consent/AntonelloConsentOrder12-2-09.pdf

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