For immediate release: May 19, 2016
Contact: Stephanie Fleming, (573) 526-0949
Kander Reaches Settlements with MWA Financial Services, Inc. and Broker-Dealer Agent
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced settlements with MWA Financial Services, Inc. and Kenneth Volkerding, a Missouri-based broker-dealer agent acting on behalf of the company. Volkerding solicited a Bloomfield, Mo., resident to purchase an unauthorized annuity worth $500,000 after the death of her spouse.
According to the consent order, Volkerding solicited the investor to transfer an MWA Flexible Premium Deferred Annuity worth $79,000 from the deceased spouse’s name to an individual retirement account in her name as the surviving spouse. Volkerding and another agent met with the investor for about an hour in January 2014, less than two weeks after the spouse’s funeral.
“During difficult times, make sure to have a trusted relative or friend attend meetings with you to help ask questions related to financial documents and accounts,” Kander said. “All too often scammers prey on individuals who may be in a vulnerable state of mind.
At the meeting, the investor transferred the documents via hand-written signature and Volkerding convinced the resident to purchase a second annuity with the monies from the death benefit of the spouse’s IRA. To complete the purchase of the second annuity, Volkerding used the investor’s electronic signature and submitted inaccurate information for the purchase of the annuity. Volkerding failed to investigate and verify her net worth, and misrepresented the $500,000 as only 25 percent of her assets, although the amount was a much higher percentage. The misrepresentation allowed the transaction to pass a suitability review.
At the time, she didn’t understand the agreement would put all of the money from the IRA in another fixed rate annuity. The investor never received any copies of the documents related to either transaction until Volkerding provided her with an annuity certificate and policy a month later.
As a result of the settlements, Volkerding is censured and prohibited from engaging in dishonest or unethical practices. For failure to properly supervise Volkerding, MWA has separately agreed to pay the $10,000 to the Investor Education Fund and $5,000 to cover the costs of the investigation
Before making an investment decision, Missourians are encouraged to call the toll-free Investor Protection Hotline at (800) 721-7996 or visit http://www.MissouriSafeSavings.com.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.