United Planning Group is a scam, beware. They make appointments in the home to prey on the elderly offering "estate planning services". The company so far has already been kicked out of the state of Indiana for the unauthorized practice of law, was forced into a multi-million settlement and ordered by the courts to refund their victims and they still have not done so. Instead, they changed the company name (actually they operate several affiliated companies under different names) and moved their headquarter's to Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Here is a link to the State of Indiana's lawsuit and consent decree: State of Indiana vs. United Planning Group d/b/a United Financial Systems Corporation
You really should start here and read this to understand the company; its all outlined right here, preying on the retired, high pressure sales tactics used on elderly in the home, cookie-cutter templates, and practicing law without a license. [continued below]....
..... $2695 "estate plan" equals a $900 commission to the salesman who drives to your home. They pay no salaries, so if this salesman doesn't use every trick to get your $2695 he doesn't get paid or go on the lavish company trips.
The recruiter for the midwest region is a guy named Ken Lygrisse. You set with Ken for a couple of days and voila, you are an expert in estate planning (or at least in selling "estate planning kits" in the home).
Ken Lygrisse was or is currently under investigation in his home state of Kansas for questionable business practices after he was caught around McConnell Air Force base lying to a victim in their home. The highlights to quote the article that covered this: MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Recently, a man went to the home of a retiree in Wichita, offering to prepare legal trust documents for $2,500.
The man handed the retiree a business card with the name "Ken Lygrisse, area director," and claimed to be representing the "United Financial Systems, Corporation."
The man also claimed affiliation with the McConnell Legal Office and told the retiree the legal office charges $3,000 to prepare a living trust, and his company could prepare the same document for only $2,500. The retiree took the man's card, and came to the McConnell Legal Office seeking advice.
It turned out the man was neither a legal representative nor affiliated with the base legal office.
Here is a link to that article: Be Cautious of Possible Scams
This is a member of the leadership of United Planning Group; this is the guy (Ken Lygrisse) who trains the rest of the guy's "how to be successful"!
Another top producer for this organization, Neil Elliott of Harrison Arkansas was indicted for fraud by a federal grand jury in Arkansas. The charges relate to embezzlement, theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and making a false material declarations to a grand jury and it alleges aiding and abetting in over $115,000 worth of federal education related fraud.
You can decide whether "birds of a feather flock together" for yourself, here is a link to the complete article: United Planning Group's Neil Elliott indicted for fraud
Here is a link from January 14 2013 which discusses United Planning Groups fraudulent activity in Indiana and that they still have not paid back more than $3 million dollars owed to Indiana victims: Indianapolis-based company violated state law by selling estate plans without a license to practice law
Highlights from that article, which mentions two additional class action suits
, include: The court's order covers only United Financial customers who bought estate plans after June 6, 2006, but other lawsuits are seeking to reach further in the company's history. At least two class-action suitscould involve 4,000 or more Indiana clients who paid United Financial's fees before that date. One of the suits, filed by Indianapolis retiree Richard Kennard, alleges that United Financial talked clients out of their existing wills, and that the estate plans they sold were ineffective. After shutting down in Indiana, the Folletts and their sons, Richard and Beau, started other firms, including United Financial Resources in Sarasota, Fla.
Under the Jan. 20 court order, any of the 23 different business entities associated with the Folletts is liable for the repayment.
Every apple in this bushel is a bad apple; they closed in Indiana, moved to Florida, didn't pay the Indiana victims as ordered by the courts, have no less than 23 different business entities,
and apparently the whole organization does not care about victimizing the elderly or our veterans to make a buck.
Here is one more article that you can use to determine for yourself whether this is a company that you should do business with, this from the elder law firm of Fleming & Curti in Indiana: Indiana Supreme Court Rules against United Financial Systems d/b/a United Planning Group
Highlights of this article tell you that states high court found that UFSC was an insurance marketing agency, (YES, after they sell you an "estate plan" it is delivered by someone who next intends to sell you insurance and variable annuities
What was UFSC doing? It had Estate Planning Assistants (non-lawyers) contact prospective customers to tell them about the importance of estate planning. If the customer signed up for the $2,695 living trust package, the salesperson collected $750 to $900 and helped the customer fill out a questionnaire.
That questionnaire was then sent to one of several attorneys UFSC hired to prepare living trusts, wills and powers of attorney. The attorney would be paid $225, and would make one telephone call to the client to discuss the estate plan
. Ask yourself one question, do you think you are going to get a good estate planning tool from an attorney who is getting paid $225?! You buy an estate plan (potentially defective) and the salesperson makes $900 and the "estate planning attorney" makes $225!
Once a trust and supporting documents were prepared the signing was handled by another UFSC salesperson for another $75 slice of the total fee.The person handling the signing, whose title was usually Financial Planning Assistant, also had access to the customers financial information (remember that questionnaire?) and could make recommendations about investment changes. One common proposal was to liquidate other investments in order to purchase an annuity which, incidentally, would yield a significant commission for the Financial Planning Assistant and UFSC.
The company suffers significant turnover of their sales staff, and is constantly on Craigslist and Monster looking for unsuspecting employees who are willing to use high pressure tactics on the elderly, until the salesperson figures it all out, or remembers where they misplaced their integrity, and quits. Many of the employees are people who cannot get a license to work in legitimate financial services or have had licenses revoked from other industries.
Do not ruin your career working for this enterprise; and if you have elderly family members make sure they do not fall victim to this scam!
Because they operate under 23 different company names, I will offer up the names of those who were indicted in the Indiana filing here:
UNITED FINANCIAL SYSTEMS CORPORATION,
RICHARD FOLLETT, JAYNE A. FOLLETT,
RICHARD L. FOLLETT II, BEAU R. FOLLETT,
JODY WAUGH, RAYMOND C. PHILLIPS,
LINDA DISHONG, L. KAY LARSON, JOHN JOYCE,
GARY LOVELADY, SHARON DORSEY, SHERRY
JORDAN, DOUGLAS J. LALAMA, ANDREW MARK
EADS, KATIE JACKEL, AND JAMES BOYLES
Many more perpetrators were not named individually; but they are still with the company, and have relocated to other states to continue working with United planning Group. Some of those are Jessica Matuska, Joseph Rabbia, Andrew Hansing, Lori Rozgonyi, Vince VanTassel, Gerry Baylon, Keith Cverko, Daniel McEvilly, Douglas Pfaff, Tim Stegeman, Bill Tiffany, James & Bradley Herrman, so be careful out there!
Do not let a high-pressure, one-time-close, in-the-home salesperson victimize your loved ones!