The Illinois Securities Department has revoked the registration of Thomas N. Cooper and Susan B. Cooper of Senior Financial Strategies Inc., doing business as Pinnacle Investment Advisors. Both of the Coopers wrongfully liquidating customer annuities to fund the purchase of fixed indexed annuities.

The Investigation

The Illinois Securities Department’s investigation uncovered that between Feb. 26, 2008, and June 9, 2008, the Coopers sold 65 Aviva fixed indexed annuities, garnering some $426,281 in commissions.

The Illinois Securities Department examined twelve cases involving customer who had liquidated annuities or IRAs to fund the purchase of fixed indexed annuities from Aviva, the order stated.

The 12 investors, who were an average age of 73, paid a total of $122,630 in surrender charges from the liquidation of annuities from American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, Old Mutual Financial Network and EquiTrust Life Insurance Co.

The Coopers were also found to have told the clients that by moving their money to an Aviva fixed indexed annuity, they would have access to six different crediting strategies, 4% guarantees on income for life and protection from Medicaid spend-downs.

Thomas N. Cooper and Susan B. Cooper have been barred from selling securities in Illinois, and have been fined $10,000.

According to the Illinois Securities Department Order

The wrongful transactions date back to 2006 when the Coopers recommended that their customers transfer $46,000 from a Lincoln Benefit Life Co. variable annuity that was held in an individual retirement account to purchase a fixed indexed annuity from Aviva USA.

The clients lost $27,000 in death benefits due to the transfer.

Regulators’ investigation revealed that between Feb. 26, 2008, and June 9, 2008, the Coopers sold 65 Aviva fixed indexed annuities, garnering some $426,281 in commissions, the order said.

In Illinois, as registered investment adviser reps and as investment advisers, the Coopers are held to a fiduciary standard.

Illinois Securities Department found the transactions to be unsuitable and not in the customer’s best interests, due to their age and the surrender penalties.

Guiliano Law Firm

If you have been the victim of securities fraud you should consult with an attorney. The practice of Nicholas J. Guiliano, Esq., and The Guiliano Law Firm, P.C., is limited to the representation of investors in claims for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.

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