New Premier Financial Alliance suit claims Asian immigrants targeted
A new class-action pyramid lawsuit was filed against Premier Financial Alliance earlier this year.
In addition to covering that, today we’re also revisiting the original 2018 Premier Financial Alliance pyramid lawsuit.
In response to the 2018 lawsuit, Premier Financial Alliance filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and compel arbitration in October 2018.
Following the filing of an amended complaint, a second motion to dismiss and compel arbitration was filed later that same month.
On November 28th defendants A JW Production, LLC, Bill Hong, The Consortium Group, LLC, Jack Wu, Rex Wu, and Lan Zhang, filed their own motion requesting the same.
On January 22nd, 2019, the court denied both motions.
Based on the evidence submitted, the court ruled that the Premier Financial Alliance defendants had ‘failed to establish the existence of an agreement to arbitrate‘
Defendants have failed to meet their burden to show, by undisputed material facts, that the parties entered into an agreement to arbitrate the claims here.
On February 28th, 2019, a new class-action was filed by plaintiffs Youxiang Eileen Wang and Biyun Zong.
Wang and Zong, both New Jersey residents, claim Premier Financial Alliance is a “pyramid scheme” they were “lured” into.
The scheme targets Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino immigrants and their families with promises of riches from recruiting people to buy—and sell—the Living Life Indexed Universal Life Insurance policy, issued by Life Insurance Company of the Southwest.
The business model described in the lawsuit is that of your typical “no retail” MLM pyramid scheme.
Although prospective associates are told they will be able to maintain their own insurance business, the policy bought and sold through the pyramid is significantly overpriced.
Premier Financial Alliance instructed Plaintiffs and continues to instruct other “associates” to peddle this policy to other people who, in turn, are instructed to sign up more associates, and so on and so on, ad infinitum.
Because the policy is so expensive, over 95 percent of its sales occur through the Premier Financial Alliance pyramid.
If that 95% figure is anywhere remotely accurate, Premier Financial Alliance appears to be a prime target for an FTC shutdown.
In BehindMLM’s own May 2016 Premier Financial Alliance review, I opined
If Premier Financial Alliance is indeed an MLM company full of affiliates earning commissions based on how much their recruited downlines are spending each month – that’s a problem.
Sounds like that exactly what’s going on.
On the original 2018 pyramid scheme case docket, an administrative motion was filed on March 19th.
The motion sough to relate the 2018 and 2019 cases, and was granted on March 26th.
This means that the same Californian Judge will hear both cases.
On May 6th an initial case management conference for both cases was held.
At the hearing defendants Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, National Life Insurance Company, NLV Financial Corporation and National Life Holding Company were granted a motion to dismiss.
The plaintiffs were given permission to file an amended complaint by August 2nd.
However the same order also stayed the case, pending outcome of a motion to compel arbitration in the 2019 pyramid case.
The last significant filing in the 2018 case is a May 28th motion by the Premier Financial Alliance defendants,
The motion requests permission to seek reconsideration of the earlier arbitration denial decision, or in the alternative a transfer of the case to Georgia.
Plaintiffs Gonzales and Chen have opposed the motion, and a hearing to decide the matter has been scheduled for July 19th.
Switching over to the 2019 case, the motion to compel arbitration that stayed the 2018 case was filed by Premier Financial Alliance on May 28th.
A hearing to decide the arbitration matter was scheduled for July 19th.
As per a July 1st order however, the hearing was continued till August 20th.
To sumarize, Premier Financial Alliance is facing two separate lawsuits that accuse it of being a pyramid scheme.
The most damning allegations in the new 2019 lawsuit are the targeting of Asian immigrants, and claim that 95% of sales within Premier Financial Alliance are affiliate purchases.
Once they pay the $125 membership fee and buy the Living Life IUL policy, Premier Financial Alliance associates are pressured to recruit and sell the policy within their network of friends and family members, typically from the same immigrant group.
Because the Living Life IUL policies are far more expensive than National Life Group’s non-Premier Financial Alliance policy alternatives, Premier Financial Alliance agents are unable to sell these Living Life IUL policies outside of the Premier Financial Alliance pyramid.
Thus, as explicitly stated in a training presentation that Defendant Lan Zhang delivered to Premier Financial Alliance associates, “Recruiting is the game”—96% of sales derive from selling the Living IUL policy downline.
Lan Zhang appears to be a top Premier Financial Alliance affiliate.
A 2016 video cites Zhang as a Premier Financial Alliance “President”, and depicts her receiving a “special birthday present” from PFA founder and CEO, David Carroll.
I’ll be checking in for updates on both cases on July 19th, after which our next scheduled case update will be on or around August 20th.
Update 18th April 2020 – As of April 2020, the two pending Premier Financial Alliance class-actions have been consolidated into a single case.