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Three insurance companies are suing a well-known Rhode Island philanthropist on grounds he preyed on the terminally ill in an investment scam.
Philanthropist Joseph Caramadre has given millions of dollars to charities, the Providence Journal reported Monday.
He also runs an estate planning business that ran a newspaper advertisement that reads, "Terminal illness? $2,000 in CASH immediately."
Caramadre says he was taking advantage of an annuities purchasing policy that guaranteed full benefits for clients who died before the regular payments of the policies began.
"To me it was a natural if parties could benefit because of the unfortunate situation of someone being terminally ill," Caramadre said.
But some clients claim they were not informed of the benefit nor that the company's agent would be listed as a beneficiary.
"They preyed on the sick and the weak at a vulnerable time," said Daniel Bulpitt, whose wife, Sandra, purchased a policy and received $6,000.
Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio, however, approved the policy which returned the $1 million money managers invested in Sandra Bulpitt's name, plus $13,000. In addition, the company netted a $50,000 commission, the newspaper said.
Western Reserve, Transamerica Life Insurance Co. and Nationwide Life Insurance are suing Caramadre, the newspaper said.