Insurance Office of America Inflated Securities RICO Class Action

This class action brings suit against Insurance Office of America, Inc. (IOA) and IOA Group, LLC, alleging that the company ran a Ponzi scheme that inflated stock prices. It also claims that the company defrauded its employees, customers, and independent sales agents and overbilled customers with fraudulent fees added to premiums.

Two classes have been defined for this action:

  • The first class is all individuals, in Florida or elsewhere, who were authorized to purchase, and did purchase IOA Group, LLC stock from 2008 to the present.
  • The second class is all individuals, in Florida or elsewhere, who purchased IOA Group, LLC stock and received a promissory note for repayment of the purchased stock instead of the actual redemption value.

This long and complicated complaint makes a number of allegations against IOA and long list of individuals involved in the company.

First, it claims that IOA inflated its profits by “stealing” accounts from IOA agents and taking their commissions.

Second, it claims that customers were fraudulently overbilled and charged “agency fees” and “marketing fees.” These false fees were added to the customers’ premiums “deceiving customers into believing they are receiving services for paying additional premiums, which are unnecessary, and, in fact, never provided.” The company also sometimes double-billed customers, the complaint says.

Third, the complaint claims that the company fraudulently inflated its stock price. For example, the complaint suggests that Sheldrick, IOA’s valuation company, issued inflated and “erroneous” valuations of membership units, showing substantial gains even when the economy was struggling.

Then, the complaint claims the inflated units were pushed on employees and independent representatives, allowing some of the top members to cash out at the inflated price. Membership units cannot be sold to the general public, which has a negative effect on their value. Also, it’s this desire to push units off on others to provide money for cash outs that leads the plaintiff to call this a Ponzi scheme.

The plaintiff in this case is Woodrow W. Power, a former employee. When he left the company in November 2018, the complaint alleges, “he owned approximately $500,000 in stock which was then allegedly commuted into an unsecured promissory note which precluded [him] from cashing out his equity and essentially allowed defendant IOA to pay him back over the course of five (5) years.”

The counts include violation of Florida’s Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, violation of Florida’s Securities and Investor Protection Act, and conversion, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: RICO, Securities

Most Recent Case Event

Insurance Office of America Inflated Securities RICO Complaint

June 19, 2020

This class action brings suit against Insurance Office of America, Inc. (IOA) and IOA Group, LLC, alleging that the company ran a Ponzi scheme that inflated stock prices. It also claims that the company defrauded its employees, customers, and independent sales agents and overbilled customers with fraudulent fees added to premiums.

Insurance Office of America Inflated Securities RICO Complaint

Case Event History

Insurance Office of America Inflated Securities RICO Complaint

June 19, 2020

This class action brings suit against Insurance Office of America, Inc. (IOA) and IOA Group, LLC, alleging that the company ran a Ponzi scheme that inflated stock prices. It also claims that the company defrauded its employees, customers, and independent sales agents and overbilled customers with fraudulent fees added to premiums.

Insurance Office of America Inflated Securities RICO Complaint
Tags: RICO laws, Securities, Securities Frauds