On March 7, 2013, the United States District Court For The Middle District Of Tennessee found Richard Olive guilty of three counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering for operating a scheme involving charitable gift annuities. According to the underlying Indictment against Mr. Olive, filed by in U.S. Attorneys’ Office on February 1, 2012, between January 2006 through May 2007, Mr. Olive solicited elderly investors for $30 million in annuities and real estate investments for his phony charity, the National Foundation of America. Mr. Olive represented to the elderly investors he targeted that the National Foundation of America was a legitimate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which would provide them with an “installment bargain contract” that would guarantee a payout over a certain time period that was tax deductible. Furthermore, according to the Indictment, when the elderly investors would transfer existing annuities to Mr. Olive, he would surrender most of the annuities to the National Foundation of America, and in doing so, triggered large surrender penalties. The Indictment further stated that the brokers of the phony charity were paid commissions well above the industry standard and that the elderly clients’ funds were ultimately misappropriated by Mr. Olive to support his lavish lifestyle. Some examples of how Mr. Olive misappropriated the elderly investors’ funds include, but are not limited to, paying a $153,000 credit card bill, paying for a family trip to New Orleans on a private jet, paying for a $250,000 settlement on a lawsuit against Mr. Olive, and purchasing a $700,000 condominium in Las Vegas. This recent guilty jury verdict is not the only time Mr. Olive has been subject to criminal and regulatory charges. Indeed, last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Department of Enforcement filed charges against Mr. Olive, his wife Susan, and We the People Inc. of the United States, which is the Tallahassee based organization for which Mr. Olive and his wife were the key executives. According to the SEC Department of Enforcement, between June 2008 and April 2012, Mr. Olive, his wife, and We the People Inc. of the United States raised $40 million from 400 elderly investors in more than 30 states by using a phony charitable gift annuity.
Lax & Neville LLP effectively assists investors, on both a regional and national level, that may have suffered losses as a result of their broker and broker dealer’s sales practice abuses, including fraud. Furthermore, Lax & Neville LLP has also nationally represented small broker-dealers, financial services professionals and securities industry companies in regulatory matters, including regulatory enforcement proceedings, and securities-related and commercial litigation. Please contact our team of attorneys for a consultation at (212) 696-1999.