Ill. AG files suit against financial advisor

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 8, 2013

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White announced a lawsuit Thursday against a Springfield man for allegedly fraudulently marketing and selling insurance investment products to the elderly.

Richard Lee Van Dyke Jr. and his financial firm, Dick Van Dyke Financial Limited, allegedly engaged in the false representation that Van Dyke acted as a knowledgeable, objective and unbiased financial expert to help Springfield area seniors to make sound investment choices for their retirement savings. Van Dyke allegedly used the misrepresentations to gain the trust of older citizens and steer them into buying indexed annuities, mostly insurance investment products, from which he would earn a high commission.

Approximately 90 percent of Van Dyke's business involved commission-based annuity sales.

Van Dyke also allegedly continued to solicit seniors as a registered investment advisor in 2012 after he failed to renew his compulsory registration as an investment advisor for securities and falsely advertised that he operated offices in Oak Brook and St. Louis, Mo., when that was not the case.

"People work their entire lives to build a nest egg for retirement," Madigan said. "It is unconscionable for anyone to violate the trust of seniors and potentially risk the most important investment of their lifetime."

Madigan's lawsuit requests that the court prohibit Van Dyke from using deceptive marketing related to the sale of annuities and force him to pay back commissions earned on the sale of replacement annuities to his customers. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks civil penalties based on violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, including penalties for violations against people 65 years of age and above.

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