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$524M Suit Filed by UniversalLife Insurance Co. Against Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)’s Greg Lindberg

Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. operated out of the country of Bermuda, although its investment products were also available in other countries through broker-dealers in the U.S. and elsewhere. The company was acquired by Greg Lindberg’s Global Bankers Insurance Group several years ago.

 

Among the investment products it offered were variable- and fixed-rate annuities. Product names included Global VIP Elite, Global Advantage Plus Series, Global Index Product, Global Advantage Select, and Global Interest Accumulator. These products were allegedly marketed to investors as low-risk investments that could offer tax benefits in excess of those typically available in the U.S., making them especially attractive to American investors. According to some investors, these products were likened to money market account equivalents, which are generally considered to be relatively conservative investments with high liquidity.

 

The insurance products developed by Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. were sold by multiple broker-dealer firms. Bankoh Investment Services, Truist Investment Services, Ocean Financial Services, JP Morgan Securities, and SunTrust Investment Services offered them to their clients. They were most commonly sold in the Southeastern U.S., although other investors may be impacted, too.

 

As previously reported by the Wolper Law Firm, Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in Bermuda in 2020. A Bermudan court denied the company’s request for an extension to complete restructuring in March 2021, making liquidation of the company likely. While monthly payments to investors have already stopped, investors are now unlikely to get their principal back from the company as a result of this development. These investments are illiquid and cannot be surrendered, so not only do investors lose future potential gains but they’ve lost everything they’ve put into these products so far.

 

For insight into how Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. might have collapsed, it takes only a short lookback. The company is owned by Greg Lindberg’s Global Bankers Insurance Group.

 

Greg Lindberg, the owner of a large company named Global Growth, was sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison after his conviction on public corruption and bribery charges. Beginning in 2017, he worked to bribe an elected North Carolina insurance commissioner through contributions to the official’s political campaign. Lindberg, in collaboration with co-conspirators, intended to ensure favorable actions from the insurance commissioner toward one of the companies he owned, Global Bankers Insurance Group, through his financial influence.

 

Even though Greg Lindberg is already serving a federal prison sentence after being convicted of wire fraud, bribery, and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, the owner of Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) faces a civil lawsuit from two insurers.

 

Universal Life Insurance Company, a Puerto Rican company, says that Lindberg is liable for the payment of $524M required to fulfill an agreement between itself and PB Life and Annuity. Lindberg had agreed to be personally responsible in the event that PB Life was not able to meet its contractual obligations under a reinsurance agreement with Universal Life Insurance Company in 2017. Three years later, Universal Life Insurance Company alleged non-compliance by PB Life and Annuity Company and demanded $524M, per the terms of the companies’ agreement. PB Life declined and the dispute has entered arbitration. Now Universal Life Insurance Company has turned to Lindberg for payment.

 

For his part, Lindberg says the cause of all of these problems is actually Mike Causey, the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, who he alleges has lied about his companies and his actions in order to deliberately harm him; the North Carolina insurance department took control of Global Bankers’ insurance companies after Lindberg’s 2019 indictment. The insurance department alleged that Lindberg inappropriately used billions of dollars of these insurance companies’ money as loans to other businesses he owned.

 

Lindberg founded Eli Global, LLC and Global Bankers Insurance Group. PB Investment Holdings, Old Mutual (Bermuda), and Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) were acquired by Global Bankers Insurance Group, and investors have since filed claims against all three off-shore companies.

 

Northstar Financial Service (Bermuda) had just $8M in assets and a deficit of more than $260M as of September 2020. Since then, investor recovery claims have been filed against the broker-dealers who sold the company’s products to investors. These include Bancwest Investment Services, Bankoh Investment Services, Ocean Financial Services, SunTrust Investment Services, and Truist Investment Services.

 

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis.  Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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