MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. insurer, has agreed to pay $13.5 million to settle a federal government investigation into improper payments made to a San Diego-based insurance broker. The U.S. Justice Department said the millions of dollars of payments Metlife made to the insurance broker, URL, were not disclosed to MetLife’s customers or reported by MetLife as required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
According to the agreement entered into by the New York-based company, MetLife adopted a program of undisclosed payments designed to induce the insurance broker and its top executive to recommend MetLife to its clients, the department said. It said that MetLife’s sales force was also instructed to leverage the improper payments to promote MetLife products. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego said it agreed to the settlement, partly because of MetLife’s voluntary and full disclosure of the conduct, its cooperation and previous payments to its policy holders.
Source: Insurance Journal
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