August 20, 2007                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton


      Pittsburgh agent loses his Montana license for alleged insurance scheme targeting chiropractors
      in the state
      Montana State Auditor John Morrison announced today that he shut down the insurance business of Pittsburgh resident, Richard Pankowski for multiple alleged violations of Montana insurance law. Pankowski traveled regularly to Montana to market “key man” life insurance policies to chiropractors who are sole proprietors. While in the state, Pankowski allegedly engaged in various illegal insurance practices to lure business owners into buying inappropriate products.
      According to the revocation order, Pankowski became a licensed insurance producer in the state of Montana in October of 2003 and was appointed to sell insurance for Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Company and Jefferson Pilot Life Insurance Company. Prior to becoming licensed, Pankowski began contacting chiropractors in early 2003 holding himself out as a business consultant doing business for Customized Business Strategies located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
      After receiving a complaint about questionable sales practices, the Montana State Auditor’s Office conducted an investigation into Pankowski and his offerings. Pankowski was accused of violating several measures of Montana law including conducting insurance business in the state without the proper license, altering insurance applications without consent, receiving compensation for “insurance consultation” services while at the same time receiving a commission and inducing Montana insurance customers to surrender and exchange their life insurance policies for inappropriate products.
      Although Pankowski disputed the charges, he agreed to surrender his Montana Insurance Producer license for a ten-year period, effective immediately.
      Key man or key executive insurance allows businesses to cover key members of their staff or management team whose disability or death could cause harm to the company. Key executive insurance is a type of insurance that few medium and small companies have in place, while many large companies have key executive insurance in place for directors, chief officers or presidents.
      "Montanans should carefully research potential investments and insurance purchases," said Morrison. "It is important that consumers confirm whether the person marketing the offering is licensed to sell such a product and whether the product is registered with the Montana State Auditor’s Office. Be sure to do your homework before you invest."
      Morrison reminds consumers that any suspected insurance or securities fraud should be reported to the Montana State Auditor’s Office at 406-444-2040 or statewide, toll-free at 1-800-332-6148.