Here is the bankruptcy trustee’s initial report in the A&O debacle. It details irregularities and problems that observers of A&O have come to expect. Some of the noted problems include:
- many of the A&O policies have lapsed.
- there are ownership disputes with many of the policies that haven’t lapsed. This means that A&O may not really own the policies.
- Provident Capital probably is not going to pay on the bonds that were supposed to back up the policies.
- there was a bait and switch pulled on investors: they were told that they were getting one type of investment, but actually got something else.
The trustee’s website is a great A&O resource and there is not much that I can add from an information standpoint.
From an opinion and commentary standpoint, I am impressed with the efforts of the trustee. If I was an investor I would support the current trustee based on the information that I have seen.
As far as blame, do not buy into Russell Mackert and A&O’s attempt to blame this debacle on Prestige Title and Stephen Colson. They are using Prestige and Colson as scapegoats. All indications are that the interpleader case that froze Prestige’s funds accelerated A&O’s demise rather than caused it. All you really need to know about A&O is that the founder (Adley Abdulwahab) lied about his education in touting A&O as a legitimate enterprise. If this is not evidence of a con man, then I do not know what is.
If I were an investor who has not yet hired an attorney, I would be looking for an attorney who is willing to file suit against the agent who sold me the investment. I continue to believe that agents’ errors and omissions policies are the best hope for recovery. In addition, if the government prosecutes and recovers funds in the case, then there could be an avenue for the victims to recover losses from the government. Finally, Russell Mackert and any insurance coverage that he carries could also be a potential target if, as expected, it turns out that the A&O sale to Blue Dymond turns out to be a sham.