AXA Advisors — misrepresentation/altering documents
My wife was pressured into purchasing a "Variable Interest Annuity" by a registered and licensed sales agent for AXA/MONY. Part of the sales pitch was that the funds were the result of a divorce settlement and were a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order" (QDRO). This would allow a portion of the funds to be withdrawn without a penalty. (Taxes, of course, would have to be paid.
My wife received a letter from AXA's Philadelphia representative, a Paul Bufty, stating that it was a QDRO and that he was including the court QDRO with his letter. Well, no QDRO paperwork was issued. It was not a QDRO and two years after the fact the IRS placed a hefty penalty on the funds taken out.
My wife misplaced the original letter, but asked for a copy. A "copy" was sent to her, but all mention of the QDRO, and thus proof of the misrepresentation or error was eliminated. A complaint was filed with AXA's President. An "investigation" was conducted, which amounted to asking Mr. Bufty if he provided the incorrect "QDRO" information. He denied it and that ended the matter.
AXA declined to speak with either my wife's attorney who had knowledge of the affair, my wife (so she could question Bufty's claims, or myself, who was present at a significant meeting.
My wife now found the original letter stating that AXA considered it a QDRO. So, we have two letters, one with the misrepresentation of funds as QDRO and another letter, claimed to be the original with all references to the claims of the QDRO papers mysteriously missing.
Forgery is defined as the crime of falsely making or altering a writing by which the legal rights or obligations of another person are apparently affected. I am not a lawyer and hesitate in accusing the huge French financial giant of such petty actions to cover up a serious problem with a small investor. But, as the current banking mess shows, large corporations will behave in strange ways to get every advantage over ordinary, modest income Americans.