Everest Wealth Management settlement with state not final
Everest Wealth Management Inc. and the Maryland Insurance Administration are discussing a settlement that could keep the embattled Towson firm in business.
The insurance administration in December issued an order against Everest that would revoke the license of owner Philip Rousseaux and fine him and the company $62,400. Any settlement is not final until the insurance administration issues a new public order.
Rousseaux and his lawyer, Alex J. Brown, declined to comment, citing a gag order.
Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. also declined to comment.
The insurance administration proposed the penalties following an investigation by the agency that found Everest had used misleading information in its infomercials that tout the firm as “The Money Guys” and blurred the line between Everest Wealth Management, an insurance company, and its related advi- sory services.
As standard procedure for such orders, the company is allowed to request a hearing before an associate commissioner for hearings. Opening arguments in that hearing took place Oct. 3. It was unclear whether the proceedings had been canceled because of the possible settlement or were on hold.
During the hearing, Everest denied wrongdoing and argued that the penalties levied against the company are unfairly harsh.
Everest also faces potential penalties related to an investigation by the securities division of Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office. In June 2015, Frosh accused Everest of fraudulently misrepresenting the risks of its investment strategy.
In that case, Everest is awaiting a final decision on an administrative judge’s recommendation to permanently bar Everest Wealth Management from operating as an advisory company, revoke Rousseaux’s license and require him to pay a $250,000 fine.