Friday, September 27, 2013
The SEC sued Benjamin Sydney Staples, 62, and Benjamin Oneal Staples, 28, claiming the father and son made $6.5 million by illegally profiting from the deaths of the terminally ill.
The Staples allegedly ran a fraudulent investment scheme they called an “Estate Assistance Program,” which supposedly helped the terminally ill pay for their funeral expenses. They had the individuals “agree to open joint accounts and sign documents that relinquished their ownership rights to the accounts or any assets in them.” After their death, the Staples demanded the survivor’s option, misrepresenting that the deceased participant was still an “owner” of the bonds.
See Those Dead People Are Worth Money, Courthouse News Service, Sept. 23, 2013.