The Structured Settlement Watchdog®

"Sniffs Out" The Good, The Bad and The Ugly    Est. 2005

Who is the Structured Settlement Watchdog®?
Structured Settlement Watchdog®
John Darer® has voluntarily served as the industry watchdog since 2005 when he created the Structured Settlements 4Real® blog, a leading source of structured settlement information and news and expert opinion, including settlement planning issues/ ideas and alternative deferred payment solutions John Darer's Structured Settlement Watchdog® commentary exposing bad business conduct in the structured settlement secondary market, provide relevant information that may be helpful to attorneys, plaintiffs, defendants, claims adjusters, judges, investigative reporters in local and national news media, sellers and buyers of structured settlement payment rights, law makers, law enforcement, attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the FTC, consumer and disability advocate groups and interested others. The content is informative, irreverent and effective.

Unlike any other financial marketplace, in the structured settlement secondary market segment there is no licensing and most companies are soliciting business from citizens of states where they are not registered to do business. To compound that, some of these companies are inducing people to commit fraud so they can make massive profits at the expense of their victims. Some structured settlement secondary market companies have even committing fraud themselves. Public records show that people with felony records and bans from other financial regulatory associations participate and/or have participated in the structured settlements secondary market. Unfortunately a huge gap in regulation fails to protect how consumers and investors can be solicited.  What regulation there is, is not consistently effective enough and weaknesses are exploited to the detriment of American consumers.  As things stand in late 2016,  with the exception of recent developments in Maryland, there is inexplicably, no regulatory body that consumers, investors in structured settlement payment rights, or participants in the structured settlements secondary market can easily turn to if they wish to address questionable business conduct. So the Structured Settlement Watchdog® writes/barks about it. With respect to raising awareness, the blog Structured Settlements 4Real® is a success, ranking consistently in or about the all time top 100 of the Justia Blawg Search and is ranked among with top websites in the structured settlement industry.

Why is there a Structured Settlement Watchdog® ?
  • To clear the path for consumers and all of the above described parties, to legitimate information about structured settlements amid all of the noise. Critical topics need to be addressed- the good , the bad and the ugly.  I tackle issues that others might be afraid to tackle. 
  • There needs to be a greater awareness of bad business practices and business conduct and how these affect consumers, to counter attempts by industry participants to conceal or deny these bad business practices. 
  • In the absence of a regulator, consumers with legitimate stories need their voices heard.  

Isn't this a "Scorched Earth" Marketing Strategy?

Far from it. "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.Louis Brandeis Supreme Court Judge  (1845-1941)

I'm just opening the window and letting the sunshine in. Primary market structured settlement participants have  complained about the business practices of factoring companies, but few do anything about it except complain to each other and the National Structured Settlements Trade Association.  I am a member of NSSTA. This is not a criticism of other members or the NSSTA, but a statement made on the basis of more than a decade of observation. Many structured settlement secondary market participants routinely complain about the business conduct of people and companies in their industry. If there was a regulator of the structured settlement secondary market (which in my opinion there should be) they could complain to the regulator. Instead many complain to me.  I write primarily during my spare time.
  • Something I have heard more than once from structured settlement industry colleagues that makes me smile:

    I may not always agree with what you have to say, but you always get me thinking about something I should think about"   

    Something in letters from consumers or attorneys in relation to this work that made me smile:

    "Keep up your good work for consumers" 
    Orlando personal injury attorney   July 20, 2015

      "John, I can't thank you enough for assisting me with my Structured Settlement dilemma. You took the time and made my case a priority. Your expertise and knowledge allowed you to be an advocate for me as I was struggling with a big insurance company and getting the run around. Knowing you were in my corner, supporting me gave me faith that the matter would be resolved fairly. I don't think you would have accepted any other outcome.You were a huge help, and I am truly grateful.   April 4, 2015

    " I wish there were more like you"  September 15, 2014

    "In my opinion, John Darer is an excellent consumer advocate in the insurance industry. When I had no one else to turn to after  running up against the stone walls of these giant (life)insurance companies, John Darer used hours of his own time to investigate my situation. Not only is this an invaluable service to me the consumer but it is also of great value to the insurance industry by providing them consumer feed-back. This allows the insurance companies to correct their faults and move toward greater transparency which improves the overall public image of the insurance industry as a whole"  - Aviva structured settlement annuitant, after annuity issuer was sold and acquiring insurer was slow to respond on question about the status of the Capital Maintenance Agreement sold with the structured annuity policy, September 4, 2014

Can You Elaborate on Your Focus Please?

The prime focus of the Structured Settlement Watchdog, is:

(1) To root out and correct inaccuracy in the online structured settlement space, whether it be poorly researched or lazy reporting by regional or national media about structured settlements [ see for example Structured Settlement Reporting Wall of Shame | South Florida edition] , or very poor content [see for example Structured Settlement Social Media "Road Kill"] produced by or for the under regulated  secondary market where it appears that anonymously registered websites spring up every day like dandelions, polluting the structured settlement information highway with content often written by unqualified individuals [who may in turn hire content writers with even less subject matter expertise, relevant professional credentials, or practical experience] that is uninformed.  Part of the problem is that the cost of pay per clicks on certain "structured settlement" keywords  is so high  (in excess of $300], that it attracts every Tom, Dick and Harry into the structured settlement space, qualified or not.  

My central premise is that the  structured settlement consumer on either the primary or secondary side of the market, deserves the clearest path to accurate information about structured settlements.
(2)To root out misrepresentation and fraud in the Structured Settlement Secondary Market which, due to under-regulation has fostered the use of fake identities and aliases,  rampant use of bribes to influence, forged structured settlement transfer orders in New York and Broward County Florida and other sordid activity that would clearly not be tolerated by regulators of any other financial service sector, promoting the business of "cash now" with deceptive  paid video testimonials fake academic credentials, misleading "best" lists and do it yourself press releases.

(i) JRR Funding's "website companies".  "Website companies" are websites made to look as if they are real companies. One of them, Einstein Structured Settlements ( sometimes referred to as Einstein Structured Funding), was a notable example of a purported company using fake credentials and paid video reviews.  Its founder, " Ryan Einstein'" (one of the pseudonyms for Owings Mills MD  poker player and gold dealer Ryan Blank), was falsely promoted in late 2012 and early 2013 as a PhD and LLM from Yale University. Contact with the the Yale registrar's office proved the claim to be a complete fabrication, as was another reference regarding attendance at UCLA. Ryan Blank, graduated from a school in Charleston, SC. The Structured Settlement Watchdog® was able to determine that two video testimonials were posted in October 2012 (still live), at a time Einstein Structured Settlements had yet to do a deal, according to a conversation I had with Ryan Blank's father Barry Blank. They were later determined to be undisclosed paid reviews. One testimonial claimed that an annuitant raised money from the sale of her structured settlement to buy a Bentley and ocean front property in Miami. Anyone with knowledge of the Florida Structured Settlement Protection Act would have reason to be skeptical of such claims.  The supposed Hispanic client was later discovered by research, to be  a paid Fiverr actress named Pinkkoala.  For those not familiar with Fiverr, it is an online outsource platform where you pay $5 (or a very nominal amount of money) for "a la carte "web related services Unfortunately many folks are not knowledgeable and may therefore be vulnerable to the dreadful attempt by Einstein's ownership to influence consumers under false pretenses.  The behavior of those that control Einstein Structured Settlements is notable because they continually demonstrate no desire to correct the stunning level of inaccuracy on their websites.

AnnuitySold(dot).com, a newer "website company" associated with Ryan Blank and Owings Mills high school chum Richart Ruddie,   has made the outrageous claim that the company is licensed and qualified in all 50 states to purchase annuity payments.  Simply not true. There is no such licensing or regulation of settlement purchasers.  There should be. That's not all, As of August 2016 the AnnuitySold website is triggering malicious code warnings from McAfee and Norton, two popular cyber-security software publishers.

ather than correcting serial inaccuracy in their  online promotion, Einstein Structured Settlements and its leaders attack us online, from time to time on their blog or on complaint sites. Deception has been the name of the game with,
, as they exploit the regulatory gap.  It's hard to take any brand associating JRR Funding (e.g. Einstein SS, Greenspring Funding, Edison Funding, AnnuitySold,  Uber Funding,, getastructuredsettlement(dot)com) and structured settlements seriously,  since we uncovered the use of fake testimonials, fake BBB seals,  made for SEO fake seminars advertised in business journals and online newspapers and inaccurate content associated with one or more of these sites.

In late 2013, Einstein Structured Settlements began flooding the internet with web pages
displaying repetitive content, save the name of virtually every city, town and hamlet in the United States, in a locations.einsteinstructuredsettlements sub-domain of its website.  A survey of two  states, via the Secretaries of State for New York and Connecticut, showed no active registration for Einstein Structured Settlements; and no registration ever for that matter. 

Einstein Structured Settlements also selectively created numerous web pages 
associating its competitors' brands with the words "scam" and "complaints". There is also evidence that the promoters of Einstein Structured Settlements placed comment spam on the consumer complaint site Rip Off Report for marketing purposes.  That's unfortunately the world we live in. In early 2014 calls to Einstein Structured Settlements toll-free number resolved to Atlanta based "cash now pusher" Fairfield Funding.  A call at the beginning of June 2014 reconfirmed this.  On July 15, 2014 a call to Einstein Structured Settlements' 888-497-0724 number was returned from 202-417-2122 with the caller ID JRR Funding.  The JRR Funding website was subsequently discovered as a sub directory to an Einstein Structured Settlement website. The website conclusively shows the material involvement of Richart Ruddie and Ryan Blank in the entity, despite denials. In January 2015 I discovered a December 6, 2013 Prezi presentation created by Ryan Blank called JRR+Fairfield Success that detailed the "game plan"  between JRR Funding LLC,which is led by Ryan Blank, and Fairfield Funding including how scraping of court records was an integral part of the process of how customers were identified and acquired.

Einstein Structured Settlements' Seminar Scams

In September 2014,  an associated brand was linked to a fake structured settlement sale seminar advertised on  [Read  San Francisco Structured Settlement Sale Seminar  SEO Motivated Fraud for details]. In late 2014 Einstein solicited tickets what proved to be a phantom structured settlement planning conference,purporting to be at the Holiday Inn downtown Chicago, IL. An ad was taken out in Crains Chicago and tickets were going for $675 for a purported 2 hour meeting.  There was no such event at the Holiday Inn according to the general manager of the hotel [Read Einstein Structured Settlements' Chicago Settlement Planning Seminar Fraud]. 

JRR Funding is associated with Edison Funding and Greenspring Funding as well as Einstein.  JRR Funding javascipt was found in the source code of these websites in February 2015.  On the one hand JRR's Einstein Structured Settlement alter ego trashes the Better Business Bureau referring to it as a "scam organization" while the other two websites post Better Business Bureau seals with non clickable links. Such links are intended to permit consumers to verify BBB membership. An independent search I made of the BBB local to the addresses stated on each of the websites shows no BBB memberships, drawing only one possible negative conclusion about JRR Funding and its website "offspring". 

Einstein Structured Settlements' Reviews of its competitors lack credibility, given its own fraudulent acts

Einstein's reviews of its competitors are primarily used to brandjack its competitors.   Why would anyone believe a review published by
a brand like Einstein Structured Settlements, that has engaged in false advertising, fraudulent paid testimonials and has promoted fake credentials?

Richart Ruddie is Exposed in National News Media

In October 2016  JRR Funding and Annuity Sold's  Richart Ruddie was sensationally exposed in the Washington Post for being associated with the filing of phony lawsuits and alleged forgery of parties' names on legal documents, by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, author of The Volokh Conspiracy, one of the top 10 all time leading legal blogs and Paul Alan Levy of the Public Citizen Law Group . Read the above link and this follow up post by Paul Alan Levy on the Public Citizen blog entitled Profile Defenders and Richart Ruddie: The Common Link Between Two Phony Defamation Suits. Read this November 22, 2016 piece as well Richart Ruddie Companies Sent Forged Papers to Rhode Island Court.

(ii) Sovereign Funding Group and David Springer of Mt Airy MD  During 2013, the Structured Settlement Watchdog® focused on a purported executive and multiple purported individuals, purportedly associated with what a Maryland judge found to be  "purported company", Sovereign Funding Group, another Maryland based actor in the
structured settlement factoring segment's "cauldron of deceit", the purported individuals, whose purported academic credentials promoted on line, did not check out when the academic institutions were contacted.  In the case of Sovereign Funding Group and David Springer, the level of imagination deployed in the fictitious characters, included President "James Goldstein",  whose LinkedIn and Google Plus profiles displayed stock photos of a middle-aged businessman. [Credit to Ohio insurance broker Todd Associates for the heads up.  They used the same stock photo  that  Sovereign/Springer was holding out as its chief executive].  The David Springer created fictitious characters actually appeared to communicate with each other like 'finger puppets" and endorsed one another on LinkedIn to enhance David Springer's dastardly deception, in public facing social media.

Coincidentally the fabrication of education credentials for both of the Maryland actors' aliases "Ryan Einstein" and  "James Goldstein",  involved a false claim of a degree (or degrees in the case of Einstein) from Yale.

On March 30, 2015,  David Springer was found liable to Woodbridge Structured Funding, LLC for Trademark Infringement and Common Law Defamation by Maryland Federal Judge Marvin J Garbis, following a 4 day trial in August 2014.  In his decision Judge Garbis referred to Sovereign Funding Group as a "purported corporate name". A similar suit , filed by JG Wentworth against the same Defendants in Maryland state court in Frederick County, was settled in March 2012. 

Almost two years after being put on notice about David Springer's shenanigans with respect to the Sovereign Funding Group BBB listing, as of June 15, 2015,  almost one year after the trial and more than two months after the judge's decision finding against Springer, The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland continued to give the defunct David Springer purported company its highest rating, underscoring how unreliable the BBB of Greater Maryland is for structured settlement consumers.  Coincidentally BBB of Greater MD only took action after I excoriated them for their inaction on the blog.

What Was Learned about Sovereign Funding Group and David Springer During The Course of The Woodbridge Structured Funding Litigation against David Springer 2011-2015.

  • In June 2012 David Springer and Sovereign Funding Group stated in their answer to the Woodbridge complaint, that the company had  ceased operations, yet the website continued to operate purportedly under the direction of fictitious character "James Goldstein" at an address that later proved to be a UPS store mailbox in Rockville Maryland purchased by David Springer, in June 2012!  David Springer continued to use a Sovereign Funding Group email address AFTER the time he and Sovereign claimed to Woodbridge that the company ceased operations. [Note :A 2016 publication by David Springer himself on Linkedin shows where Springer raises the spectre that David Springer committed perjury in the 2012 Maryland court documents].
  • David Springer has lied so much that he has a hard time keeping track of his timelines. In his August 2016 LinkedIn profile, David Springer lists CEO Sovereign Funding Group

    • (7 years) Washington D.C. Metro Area. This includes years that David Springer submitted in court filings that the company had ceased operations (see bullet point immediately above). Advertising for Sovereign Funding Group appearing in 2011 also claimed Sovereign was in business for 15 years, to paper over a not so flattering time that David Springer spent on the island of Grenada ,as what Offshore Regulator Michael Creft referred to in this 2007 article as the "right hand  man" to Laurent Barnabe, the convicted fraudster of First International Bank of Grenada infamy.  David Springer however, was never charged. The Linkedin in mentions "staff members" while David Springer testified in a legal case that he was the sole employee.
  • Sovereign Funding Group's Better Business Bureau listing named two people, James Goldstein and Sandy Jackson, both fictitious characters, as of July 13, 2013.  David Springer was deposed on June 28, 2013. When a portion of the David Springer deposition was posted on, it revealed that when deposed, David Springer admitted, under oath , to creating multiple phony names James Goldstein, James Spelling, Alexander Ross, Sandy Jackson and other fake identities such as Karen Jones and Melanie Miller and the later discovered  David Smithen, the attendance of the fake identities at schools (that turned out to be fabrications) and several fabricated LinkedIn profiles , Google Plus profiles and the insertion of  fake names (James Goldstein and  Sandy Jackson) as company contacts on the the BBB report . Evidence of David Springer's use of the alias James Spelling as early as 2008, which was in direct conflict with his June 2013 deposition and June 2014 trial testimony. The fake identity of James Goldstein was also used on Pinterest and Manta, sites which target American consumers. On March 31, 2014 I showed how David Springer's wife, "or her Facebook account" even chatted with her husband's fake character on the Sovereign Funding Group Facebook page.
  • Again, many of the fake Sovereign Funding Group characters were staged by David Springer to endorse each other on business networking sites like LinkedIn and Google Plus to create an illusion in public facing social media, when it was just David Springer giving himself a "selfie" over and over! 
  • The Sovereign Funding Group BBB report stated on July 24, 2013 that the company had 9 employees,  then including the real name David Springer, for the first time in 13 months, among the fictitious names. On August 8, 2013 there were 2 names, David Springer and Sandy Jackson, who does not exist. David Springer testified in the Woodbridge case that he was the sole employee.
  • Sovereign Funding Group posted to YouTube in October 2012, advertisements which falsely portrayed paid actresses from and another pay for testimonial service as "customers who really did business with the company". Sovereign Funding Group failed to disclose that the purported customers were paid actresses  [ see #4 below for more details].  Yet notice of Springer's substantial pile of BS was not enough to get the useless BBB of Greater Maryland to do anything timely to protect consumers.

Wider Investigation Needed
The Structured Settlement Watchdog® is conducting an ongoing investigation into other individuals or entities associated with the structured settlement secondary market that make use of fake identities and employ a labyrinth of entities whose ownership or control is not easily ascertainable, when soliciting American citizens in their approach or solicitation to buy structured settlement payment rights, or to solicit American investors to buy these deals. 
These 'ghosts' have been enabled by the under-regulation associated with structured settlement secondary market. These fake identities may appear in  a variety of forums, such as do it yourself press releases, Google Plus profiles, complaint sites, and "gussied up" LinkedIn profiles which are linked to other fake identities. The structured settlement secondary market targets some of the most vulnerable and unsophisticated in American society.American consumers have the potential to be harmed by those who conduct deceptive practices. Same with yield-starved investors contemplating an investment in structured settlement payment rights.

(3) To expose the use of fake testimonials,where "cash now pushers" attempt to get a call to action by falsely portraying that a paid actor or actress has done business with them, displaying a stock photo or a paid video "testimonial" that they obtained from or

DRB Capit
For example, see my  May 20th, May 27th and
June 3, 2014 blog posts regarding my investigation into "Kristen", a supposed client of DRB Capital and Imperial Structured Settlements who "called in and received her money in days". Do stock photos have bank accounts?  Following our expose and given ample opportunity to disprove our allegations by supplying copies of  transfer orders involving the alleged client giving the alleged testimonial  (which would have been public record), DRB Capital re-did its website.

Sovereign Funding Group/David Springer

Two such video testimonials were posted promoting Sovereign Funding Group on YouTube in November 2012. One featured a British lass who has done 11,900 of these sorts of videos, according to our research. Her screen name is "Kymmy Pops", but for the purpose of the Sovereign Funding Group ad she was "Karen S". There was another one featuring "Jessica P. from New York" which actress was found on another paid testimonial website.

Einstein Structured Settlements/JRR Funding
I then busted Einstein Structured Settlements for two paid for testimonials, one from and the other from   Read the report about fake Einstein structured settlements Review from Chip here. Read my report about fake Einstein structured settlements review from the "hispanic client"  Fabiola (a/k/a Pink Koala)  here

(5) To highlight and encourage, potential informants and other commentators who expose, or help to expose, bad business practices with a goal to help improve the greater structured settlement industry. 

Practices such as:
  • Interstate Forum shopping. In some cases, transfer applications are being filed by aggressive settlement purchasers, or individuals or entities acting as brokers for the ultimate settlement purchasers, in certain factoring "friendly" Florida or Virginia courts for annuitants who are clearly domiciled in other states where the courts are more strict on reviewing structured settlement transfers and may require the selling annuitant to appear in court  for the "best interest" evaluation.  On December 15 2014,  a complaint was filed by  Michael Lafontant against Washington Square Financial D/B/A Imperial Structured Settlements and Andrew Levine, in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, allegations wherein detail a forum shopping nightmare involving a naive 19 year old New Yorker was induced by a Florida based company into multiple transactions within 6 months, somehow approved by Florida judges without meeting this young man, leaving him with nothing. Read the Lafontant complaint and my commentary here.  Ongoing publicity  has led to hastily passed reforms in Florida and Virginia.
  • Unsolicited drop-ins on structured settlement annuitants whose information has been "scraped" from court records, including scary reports of alleged representatives of cash now pushers showing up unannounced at the door of a home in a gated community. 
  • Sending real or imaginary checks to court scraped annuitants and then badgering people to cash then with the insinuation that it binds the annuitant to do business with them. It appears that most companies in the space scrape court records conceivably because they lower their acquisition costs.
  • Providing advances to court scraped annuitants with the later insinuation that it binds the annuitant to do business with them. See CFPB Complaint v Access Funding filed November 2016
  • Websites which promote purported  bidding marketplaces, in which companies purport to compete, but that may be little more than a lead generation funnel for "companies" with common ownership. As the result of a litigation settlement in June 2015,  the owner of one such purported site, structuredsettlement-quotes(dot)com  (SSQ) was forced to publicly acknowledge Genex Capital Group ownership after its Chief Operating Officer had previously denied it and its CEO had basically given a selfie in a bizarre  November 2013 press release. Genex Capital and Genex Strategies,Inc. were Defendants in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in Connecticut which alleged that  "SSQ is nothing more than a fraudulent and deceptive scheme designed to deceive customers and benefit certain companies and persons, and in particular Genex Capital and persons associated with Genex Capital". The plaintiff, Woodbridge Structured Funding, had to take extraordinary measures using the Hague Service convention protocols to obtain service of process on Genex Strategies, Inc. 
  • Luring a structured settlement annuitant of limited means from North Carolina to a "factoring forum shop" in Florida or elsewhere, with an expense paid outbound trip and refusing to pay for his or her return because he of she had second thoughts of lying about his/her domicile in a court record. The factoring company may take steps as it plays out, to cover up the payments by paying expenses to "friend relatives" in the factoring forum shop state, or use gift cards to make it harder to trace. See Lafontant case above as one example.
  • Charging a structured settlement annuitant of Allstate Life Insurance Company, or Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York, a discount rate that exceeds the 8% rate for Allstate's Advanced Funding Exchange Notice (AFEN), failing to explore that option with the  annuitant and/or failing to tell an Allstate annuitant that they have that option. The disclosures attached to the publicly available Petition to Transfer Structured Settlement Payment Rights in Seneca One v Cathy Ann Edwards Broward County FL CACE-16-013197 show that Ms. Edwards was being charged a 15.24% effective discount rate by Seneca One. Fortunately the case was voluntarily dismissed on August 15, 2016.
  • Failing to apply a suitability standard when encouraging and/or participating in the sale of structured settlement payments rights for riskier alternative investments and thereby taking advantage of annuitants in states where there is no mandatory in person judicial review.
  • Peddlers of structured settlement derivatives (recycled structured settlement payment rights), misrepresenting structured settlement payment rights as "just like a bank CD" when they are not.  [See SHP Financial story  June 1, 2014]
  • Peddlers of  structured settlement derivatives who mischaracterize structured settlement payment rights as annuities, enhancing the initial deception of investors by, in some cases, making unauthorized use of registered trademarks and brands of insurers,  and then discussing statutory protections, which may not exist for structured settlement derivatives. It would be illegal to discuss the statutory protections if what they were actually selling were an annuity. It is our policy to notify insurers of any potential infringement we discover, and many insurers choose to take legal action
(4) To encourage individuals (ether annuitants, brokers or factoring insiders) with knowledge, to come forward to provide information that will lead, if applicable, to the criminal prosecution of the most serious offenders whether in the United States, or elsewhere. An international structured settlement ''neighborhood watch" if you will.

(5)To encourage greater transparency through licensing of secondary market companies and intermediaries and regulation of advertising and solicitation to sellers of, and investors in structured settlement payment rights
. Consider that as part of extensive regulation designed to protect consumers, background checks are performed before someone is able to hold a securities or insurance license in the United States. Unfortunately, similar checks ARE NOT required to work in the unregulated structured settlement secondary and tertiary markets.

(6) To establish and main higher standards for Independent Professional Advice (Structured Settlement IPA) under state structured settlement protection acts. A Rockville MD lawyer, Charles E. Smith JR and his law firm CES Law Group LLC, were sued for legal malpractice in June 2015 with claims arising out of his alleged services in connection with a structured settlement transfer of someone with cognitive deficits that included the inability to read. Charles E Smith, JR is now a defendant, among others, in a lawsuit brought by the Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh as well as a class action lawsuit in Baltimore City on behalf of numerous lead paint victims who were allegedly exploited by Smith and other defendants. In November 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Board filed suit against attorney Charles E. Smith and refers to Smith as a sham adviser as part of its crack down on Access Funding and its principals Lee Jundanian, Raffi Boghosian and others related to an alleged scam on Baltimore inner city lead paint victims with structured settlements.

(7)To seek resolution for structured settlement annuitants and help preserve the integrity of the industry by reporting instances where a structured settlement protection act's "best interest standard" has been inadequately enforced. A judge who may not have examined the seller in person is the only thing that stands between a vulnerable seller and financial oblivion.There has already been one success in 2014.There have been some true horror stories that must see the light of day.  An example of the kind of abuse I'm referring to is where someone with cognitive deficits has had multiple sell transactions approved in a year and has never appeared before  judge at any hearing before  a "qualified order" was obtained. 

  • How are consumers protected by the current state of affairs? While you need a license to sell securities, sell insurance,  sell real estate, operate a bank, act as a life settlement broker, cut hair, ink a tattoo,  or even run a brothel (in the State of Nevada where such an establishment is legal), there is no enforceable standard of professional conduct, no mandatory licensure,  or regulatory body that can fine, penalize structured settlement secondary market participants for providing unlicensed financial advice, for engaging in predatory advertising and solicitation practices, or ban them for a history of illicit activities in previous employment.
  • Since late 2015, the State of Maryland has taken steps to improve things for consumers with Maryland structured settlement protection reforms by requiring registration by settlement purchasers and the posting of a surety bond, the latter effective October 1, 2016.

    (8) To encourage legislators to establish critical licensing and oversight so that individuals with criminal records are not allowed to be put in positions of trust involving money consistent with securities and insurance regulations

  • In November 2013, the Structured Settlement Watchdog demonstrated how an SEO/SMM link building specialist named Nicholas John Jackson, moonlighting as a structured settlement factoring broker from the  St. Louis  Missouri area, soliciting both sellers and investors, was calling himself a 'financial consultant" and even a financial adviser on Linkedin, even though a public records search appeared to show that he had no licenses or legitimate financial credentials.  This individual claimed to be a financial adviser when , according to public records, the individual in question has served jail time for unpaid parking tickets and upon information and belief has threatened individuals in both the structured settlement primary and secondary markets over the phone and in writing across state lines. In September 2015, according to public records, the individual was sentenced to a Missouri jail for the 3rd time in 3 years for a domestic matter. In January 2016, the same individual was involved in a drug bust in St. Francois County Missouri.

    In July 2015, the Structured Settlement Watchdog highlighted a scathing Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about Todd Dyer, also known as T. Allen Dyer and Allen Todd, who has served jail time for a laundry list of financial crimes. According to the article, Dyer ran a Ponzi scheme beginning in 1995 that bilked investors for over $2 million, pled guilty money laundering and mail fraud  in1999, pled guilty and securities fraud and forgery in 2004 and was purportedly accused of involvement in another Ponzi scheme in 2012.  Dyer has recently been indicted by a grand jury in Wisconsin.  The FBI indicated in a June 2015 notice that Dyer was recently charged with 21 counts of wire fraud, five counts of money laundering, and five counts of transporting funds obtained from fraud across state lines. Mr.Dyer is currently the founder of Income Stream Exchange  [] , which claims to match up buyers and sellers of structured settlements. Todd Dyer was indicated on new fraud related charges in 2016.

    Read these for more information:

  • Dyer Straits" as Structured  Settlement Exchange Founder is Indicted by Grand Jury
  • Structured Settlement Income Stream Exchange and Indicted, Multiple Conviction Ponzi Schemer Dyer

  • Lake Geneva man who served time in prison for Ponzi scheme accused of scamming again  July  14, 2016

  • There are multiple individuals in the structured settlement secondary market space in 2016, who a search on FINRA Broker Check shows were previously banned by FINRA or its predecessor NASD.

Fraud and Forgery of Structured Settlement Transfer Orders Diminishes the Integrity of the Cash Now for Structured Settlement Industry

In 2014, a former paralegal of the New York City personal injury law firm of Paris & Chaikin (a firm that also represents cash now for structured settlement companies) was indicted for forging the names of 76 New York State Supreme Court judges on 234 structured settlement transfer orders.  Paris & Chaikin was also sued by its clients JG Wentworth, Woodbridge Structured Funding and Stone Street Capital for legal malpractice.  But the Paris & Chaikin case, wasn't a one off occurrence of Forgery and the Structured Settlement Factoring.
From 2012-April 2015, Jose Manuel Camacho  Jr., a Miami lawyer with the Camacho Law Group P.A. forged 7 Broward County Florida judges' signatures, on more than 104 structured settlement transfer orders and submitted them to the Broward Court Clerk's office, according to Camacho's arrest report dated October 22, 2015. Such orders are necessary to the transfer of structured settlement payment rights after a judge has exercised scrutiny to determine if the structured settlement factoring transaction is the best interest of the seller and the seller's dependents. It is an important requirement under state and federal structured settlement protection laws.  According to Broward County public records, Jose Manuel Camacho, Jr.,  was to be sentenced in late August 2016, but was continued pending a guardian ad Litem's report on 17 of the 104 cases,  those involving Camacho forgeries of Judge Carlos Rodriguez' signature on structured settlement transfer documents. While other judges have recused themselves, apparently Judge Rodriguez is continuing to preside over all the cases where his signature had been forged.

Oddly there was no word the Camacho forgeries in the South Florida press until February 22, 2016 when the Sun Sentinel posted a story.  We search for an explanation beyond a means to avoid embarrassment. A review of the online documents on one of Jose Camacho's cases appears to show that a notary signature and imprint of the official notary stamp had been tampered with on the affidavit of the sellers in one of the cases where the transfer order was forged.  Jose Camacho handled structured settlement transfers for Liberty Settlement Funding, Novation Funding LLC,  Annuity Transfers Ltd, CBC Settlement Funding and others during the relevant time frame.  

The lump sum for structured settlement purchasers' cauldron of deceit has been stirred by multiple cooks, including settlement purchasers, paralegals, lawyers,  lead generators, and unfortunately, possibly even judges more intent on clearing their dockets, than paying attention to their responsibilities under the structured settlement protection acts.

It will be interesting to see how the Richart Ruddie case plays out.  The allegations concerning Ruddie are concerning forgery of documents presented to a Rhode Island Court in an alleged phony lawsuit that succeeded in getting a court order that Ruddie's online reputation management firm, could use in getting defamatory material concerning its clients deindexed from Google.  There are apparently dozens of these cases around the country.  Paul Alan Levy has made a connection between Annuity Sold, a settlement purchasing brand associated with Richart Ruddie and Ryan Blank and the Rhode Island phony lawsuit, which begs an obvious question.

Read Some Stuff About You on Rip Off Report

Structured Settlement Watchdog John Darer's commentary  is informative, irreverent and effective. John Darer is so effective as structured settlement watchdog that for a period of time in 2012,  several bad actors associated with the structured settlement secondary market registered multiple internet domains using John's name,  and posted fake complaints on complaint sites in May 2012 and December 2012 containing the most 'over the top" trolling in an unsuccessful effort to stifle our investigation.  The regulatory dichotomy  enables such behavior.  More than four years later,  my quest for the truth keeps marching on and the circumstances of several of the 2012 trolls took a turn for the worse. I choose to be open, others snipe from the comfort of anonymity.  Needless to say the stuff is not credible. If it were true, I would not be in business.  I would not be able to hold an insurance or securities license.

The real stats about John Darer
In over 30 years in financial services:
  • AM Best Client Recommended Structured Settlement Expert 2016 (4th consecutive year)
  • The Company that John Darer owns has been accredited A+ with Better Business Bureau, the highest rating,  for 12 consecutive years, with no complaints.  If we ever received a legitimate complaint, we are committed to make a good faith effort to resolve it.
  • No complaints with any state insurance department of the over 35 states I'm licensed in.
  • No complaints with any self regulatory organization
  • No lawsuits concerning professional services rendered.

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