by Brian Mahany
We recently received two inquiries from people who purchased welfare benefit plans through Tracy Sunderlage. By now, folks invested in these plans probably know that their plan may well be a scam. To add insult to injury, the IRS also views most of these plans as listed transactions and abusive tax shelters.
The probability of recovering monies from PIWM, Sunderlage or any of his companies is remote but there is hope if someone invested through an insurance agent or financial planner. Many of these dubious “investments” were marketed by third parties. When the dust settles, often the people selling the plan or the insurance company underwriting the policy within the plan are the only folks with “deep pockets.”
Sunderlage appears to have done business with Nicholas Battoo. Both Battoo and Sunderlage have a long and checkered past. We understand the feds are interested in both men right now. While that is great news, it doesn’t mean investors are likely to see any money from the government.
The time period varies widely from state to state but every jurisdiction limits the period in which you can file suit to recover an investment loss. Sitting on the sidelines hoping the SEC or the FBI gets back your money may jeopardize your case against the person who sold you the investment.
Attaching liability to third parties is difficult. In the case of 419 plans, we know several insurance agents who sold these plans and had no idea what they were doing. Why did they sell them? Because the premiums were huge and the promoters often had slick marketing brochures and claimed to have legal opinions that “proved” the legitimacy of the investment scheme.
Battoo and Sunderlage and their ilk may be gone or hiding under a rock but it still may be possible to get back your hard earned money. Don’ wait until its too late.
MahanyLaw – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Detroit, Michigan; services available nationwide.