ICBC suspends life agent

By The IJ Staff | September 03 2019 09:30AM

The Insurance Council of British Columbia (ICBC) published an order, suspending the life accident and sickness insurance agent’s license for David Jonathan Pennoyer, for a period of two years over allegations that he recommended and attempted to facilitate an insurance investment for an elderly client that was not in the client’s best interest “and brought into question the Licensee’s competency as a life and accident insurance agent.”

The ICBC order states that evidence shows Pennoyer attempted to take advantage of an elderly, unsophisticated client who put his complete trust and faith in him. The complainant was reportedly 89 years old and living in an assisted living facility when he met Pennoyer. Prior to living in the facility, the complainant had been evicted from a previous residence, the landlord of which was a friend of the licensee and a licensed life agent, himself.

Documents allege that Pennoyer met with the complainant under the pretense of delivering mail that the landlord didn’t want to deliver himself because of the animosity surrounding the complainant’s eviction. “Given his stated practice of returning the mail (to sender), the landlord had no explanation as to why a single letter (reportedly from a hearing aid company) needed to be hand delivered,” the council says in its order.

Agreed to invest almost all of his money in a seg fund

During the course of several visits with the complainant, the complainant agreed to invest $600,000, almost all of his money, into a segregated fund with the licensee. The agent also accepted a five per cent front loaded commission.

The complainant, meanwhile, had his money in three different accounts. The licensee reportedly drove the complainant to various banks to amalgamate the funds, and process two payments totaling $600,000, payable to the agency in trust to purchase the segregated fund. The transactions left no money in his account to pay the assisted living facility’s fees.

Bank teller and a manager questioned the transactions

“While at the bank, a teller and a manager began to question the transactions and the nature of the relationship between the licensee and the complainant and eventually asked the licensee to leave,” the report states. The bank manager told council that the teller in this incident observed that the complainant appeared confused, unable to respond to her questions and kept asking the licensee, Pennoyer, how he should respond.

After leaving the bank the complainant was reportedly hesitant to sign forms following his conversation with the bank’s manager. When the licensee began to pack up, telling the complainant that he was going back to Alberta, the complainant agreed to sign the forms.

More, the licensee then emailed the complainant’s power of attorney to say that he was the president of a Christian ministry and was assisting the complainant with an investment and choice of beneficiary. “He did not, however, advise the nephew that he was a life agent representing the agency, nor did he send the email from a business address. Emails were sent from the licensee’s personal email account.”

Complainant contacted the RCMP

Immediately following, the complainant contacted the RCMP to say he believed he had been defrauded. “The RCMP constable advised council’s investigator that the licensee contacted the complainant to have him lift the freeze so the transfers totaling $600,000 could go through. The constable advised that when the complainant refused, the licensee began sending invoices of $3,000 for his services.

Under the council’s intended decision, Pennoyer’s license will be suspended for two years and must be supervised for an additional two years following his suspension. He must also pay council’s costs of $2,812.50 and complete an ethics course in elder planning before October 2019.

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