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OFIR Suspends License of Traverse City Insurance Agent for Misappropriating $500,000 from Elderly Woman

OFIR investigation finds William Lowder used funds from unauthorized transactions for personal use

March 26, 2012
Media Contact: Jason Moon 517-335-1700
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442
http://twitter.com/midifs

LANSING - The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) has suspended the insurance license of William Lowder, a Traverse City independent agent.

An OFIR investigation found that from 2006-2008, Lowder befriended a Traverse City-area elderly woman and made more than a dozen unauthorized financial transactions totaling nearly $500,000 from her annuity and money market accounts. OFIR found that Lowder comingled these funds with his own bank accounts and used the money for cash gifts to his wife, to fund his personal trust account, and to pay his personal and business expenses. 

“OFIR will continue to aggressively fight to protect Michigan seniors from financial abuse,” said Commissioner Kevin Clinton.  “Any consumer who had a financial relationship with Lowder should contact us immediately.”

Michigan consumers can contact OFIR on the agency’s toll-free hotline at 877-999-6442

OFIR has handed the results of its investigation over to the proper law enforcement agencies.

OFIR’s Elder Abuse Prevention Programs

  • OFIR has worked closely with the AARP on fraud prevention presentations to seniors.  Participants learn practical, daily steps to prevent identity theft, avoid common scam and con artist schemes, and learn how to choose and evaluate a financial services provider. 
  • OFIR continues to offer free goal-based, non-biased investment classes in libraries throughout the state through its Investor Education in Your Community program.  For more information, visit OFIR’s Investor Education page.
  • OFIR has developed fraud awareness and prevention presentations tailored to any audience demographic. These presentations can be made on short notice to any interested organization within the state.
  • Last year, OFIR collaborated with the MSU Geriatric Education Center to present the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) program to rural hospitals and social service agencies throughout the state. The program aims to prevent elder financial abuse by adding a patient’s financial well-being to a physician's diagnostic process. 

To view OFIR’s suspension order, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/Lowder_William_E._-_Summary_Suspension_EB_redacted_380170_7.pdf