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L.A. firm accused of stealing millions from investors shut down

September 2, 2011 |  6:24 pm

SECphoto The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency court order shutting down a Los Angeles company that claimed to invest in life insurance policies, but instead allegedly used investor money to finance the owner’s luxury lifestyle.

The SEC accused Daniel C.S. Powell and his company, Christian Stanley Inc., of defrauding investors by making false claims that it invested in so-called life settlements. Powell raised at least $4.5 million from at least 50 investors nationwide but never used the money to buy life insurance policies as he said would, the SEC said. Instead, he spent the money on luxury hotels, expensive cars and visits to nightclubs and restaurants, the SEC said.

At the request of the SEC, U.S. District Judge George H. King issued a temporary restraining order freezing the assets of the company and placing a receiver in charge of the company’s assets. Powell could not be reached for comment.

Life settlements are transactions in which policy holders sell life insurance policies to third parties.


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Photo: The Securities and Exchange Commission. Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters