BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced April 11 that seniors in the state will receive more than $130,000 in refunds due to a settlement her office has reached with mortgage broker Direct Finance Corp., its employee Daniel Matthews and insurance agent James Moniz.
According to allegations, the defendants enacted a scheme to induce elderly clients to take out reverse mortgages and invest the proceeds in unsuitable variable annuities. Moniz, while employed by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA), had his clients take the reverse mortgages out through Direct Finance.
“We found that these defendants took advantage of elderly homeowners who spent decades building equity in their homes,” Healey said. “My office is focused on stopping the financial abuse of seniors.”
John Hancock terminated Moniz after learning of his conduct. Moniz, Matthews and Direct Finance have been restricted from improperly associating reverse mortgages with investing in annuities.
Handling the case for Massachusetts are the staff of Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division, including assistant attorneys general Tiffany Bartz, Claire Masinton, and Tim Hoitink, as well as legal analyst John-Michael Partesotti and civil investigator Kristen Salera.