A whistleblower lawsuit filed by investigative firm Total Asset Recovery Services LLC of Auburn Hills, Michigan, against Prudential Financial Inc., and MetLife Inc., alleges the insurers committed “massive fraud” when they failed to transfer 4,766 unclaimed life insurance policies worth nearly $524.3 million to the Illinois abandoned-property department from 1988 to 2010. The whistleblower lawsuit says the insurance companies “knew or should have known” the policies were to be transferred to the state. According to various news sources, the lawsuit was filed in January 2011 and unsealed by a Cook County state court judge last week.
A Total Asset Recovery Services owner, Tom Prescott, said that the group has other whistleblower lawsuits filed in other states against various insurance agencies. He also said that an email from the Illinois Attorney General’s office said the state wants to join the lawsuit to settle with the insurance companies.
The lawsuit seeks $5,500 to $11,000 for each of the more than 4,000 policies, and damages in the amount of three times the $524.3 million of overdue property owed the state. Total Asset Recovery seeks up to 30 percent of any proceeds collected if the state does not intervene, and up to 25 percent of the proceeds if the state does intervene.