Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Lawsuit Seeks to Hold Insurer Responsible for Suspicious Death

Posted by William Byrnes on December 10, 2010


For as long as life insurance has existed, con artists and murderers have sought payouts from policies on the lives of their victims. Tomisue Hilbert, wife of insurance giant Conseco, Inc.’s founder Stephen Hilbert, suspects that her mother, Suzy Tomlinson, was a victim of one such schemer.

She looks to hold AIG responsible for her mother’s untimely death, believing that a high-value policy issued by American General (an AIG subsidiary) on her mother’s life was the impetus behind a scheme that ended with her mother’s death.  The life insurance policy at issue in the case is a $15 million policy on Tomlinson’s life naming Indiana businessman J.B. Carlson as its beneficiary. Policy premiums were paid with premium financing.

On September 29, 2008, Suzy Tomlinson drowned in her bathtub, fully clothed, after a night of drinking. Tomlinson’s death occurred right before a $1.27 million payment was due on the premium finance loan. Tomisue Hilbert’s lawsuit notes the fortuitous timing—for Carlson—of her mother’s death, Carlson’s debts of $5.9 million and the fact that Carlson may have been the last person to see her mother alive.

Read this complete article at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).

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