Insurance salesman ‘ruined my life’
An insurance salesman who is alleged to have used nearly $250,000 of an elderly client’s savings to fund a lifestyle of gambling and extravagant living is now being investigated by police.
Raymond Whelan has now been declared bankrupt after the woman’s daughter took him to the High Court after he was unable to pay back the money.
Monique Palmer, who has had to move back to New Zealand from the UK to care for her mother Patricia, 75, who has since been diagnosed with dementia, says Whelan ‘has ruined my life’.
Palmer had returned for a holiday to visit her mother when she discovered large sums had been paid out of her mother’s accounts to Whelan and a $535,000 nest egg from a 1997 house sale had shrunk to nothing, Fairfax reports.
After her mother's dementia diagnosis she had to give up her well-paid job in the UK and move back to New Zealand to be her carer.
Whelan admitted he accepted the money from Patricia Palmer as ‘business loans’ and to settle other personal loans he owed to his son, said the report.
Whelan’s declaration in the bankruptcy proceedings said he owed over half a million dollars but had assets of only $5220. The reason for the bankruptcy was described by the Official Assignee as ‘gambling, speculation and extravagant living,’ the Fairfax report said.
Lawyer Chris Patterson, who acted for Palmer against Whelan, said the High Court action would prevent Whelan, 66, from offering financial services in the future.
“The guy’s a public nuisance, and at a minimum he needed to be put into compulsory commercial retirement,” he said.
Other official action may follow now the police have received a complaint against him.
A write-up for Whelan’s Torbay-based company Vision Financial Servies Ltd described the firm as having over 30 years in the industry specialising in life, health, income, trauma and disability cover but helping clients with any insurance issues and questions.