Mark J. Colbert Enterprises
Investigator of Life Insurer's Fraud

      Mark J. Colbert Enterprises
      Life Insurance Fraud Investigator
      Born: 02-08-64 in Dos Palos, CA

      1328 Fairway Drive
      Atwater, CA 95301
      (209) 357-3423    Office
      (209) 357-3435    Fax
      Bad Faith in the 90's - By Douglas K. deVries, Esq.

* Metropolitan Life's Career Success School, 1990 * Business Insurance I &
II, 1991 and 1995 * Disability Income Planning, 1992 and 1996 * LUTC
graduate 1993 * Recognized as an authority in the field of Customer Service
and Relations. Was featured as a guest speaker at Metropolitan Life's
Career Success School in 1993 * Estate Planning I and II, 1993 and 1996. *
Pension and Profit Sharing, 1994 * Consumer Protection I and II, 1995 *
LUTC Advanced Ethics, 1996 * LUTC Life Insurance Policy Comparison and
Underwriting, 1996

* I worked for Metropolitan Life from 10/90 - 04/94 as an agent.  After
discovering hundreds of 'churning ' cases, I ran these issues through the
proper chain of command.  When I was told to look the other way, I took a
great deal of evidence to the California State Dept. of Insurance and the
media.  At that time, I redirected my attention to making sure elderly
policy owners were not robbed of their savings and security.  Since then, I
have participated in, been named in, been written about, or assisted with: 
Numerous segments on CBS, ABC, PBS stations, Newsweek, Money, Woman's Day,
Sales & Marketing Management magazines, The Wall Street Journal, National
Underwriter, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News and
countless other publications that have alerted people as far away as
Ontario, Canada.  Since 1994, I have also been a field underwriter for
Farmers New World Life, The Guardian, Jackson National Life, First Colony
Life, as well as several other companies.     

* As an independent Insurance Fraud Investigator, I have investigated
nearly 2000 cases involving over a dozen different insurance companies
including: Metropolitan Life, Prudential, New York Life, John Hancock,
Allstate, Primerica, State Farm, Jackson National Life, Old Line Life, The
Aid Association for Lutherans, The Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company, and
others.  I have also assisted different State's Departments of Insurance
and Attorney General's offices in their investigation of several companies.

* I have been named as an Expert Witness * contributed directly to the
investigations of several companies by the California State Department of
Insurance * instructed a number of attorneys and State officials on the
practice of churning * found all of the representative cases for the class
action law suit of Metlife in California. * Discovered over 300 employees
of a large glass factory near Madera, CA, who were misled by an unethical
company and its agents.  After exposing the situation to a workers union
and the media (including a CBS television affiliate)  I saw to it that
everyone received ample restitution * I have referred over 1100 cases to
various law firms in several states * I assisted California State Dept. of
Insurance regulators in the investigation of an agent who recently had his
license revoked.   

The Problem:
Life Insurance fraud and misrepresentation is a huge and very real problem
in America.  Estimates are that 3 out of every 5 policies sold in the
United States between 1980 and 1994 have potentially been sold under false
pretenses . 



Mark J. Colbert had spent nearly four years as an agent with the
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company when he started noticing things that
didn't make any sense. Like, why would a man nearly seventy five years old
pay almost $26,000 for a life insurance policy that would only last 6 or 7
years then lapse without any value while he was still alive? Why would a
married couple in their late 60s "roll over" two perfectly good life
insurance policies for new ones that would only last a few years before
being worthless? People of all ages were literally "rolling the dice" with
their life insurance policies. They would all have to die very soon in order
for their policies to be any good but, nobody told them about it.

Mark had stumbled upon what he believed to be the worst life insurance
scandal in the history of the industry. Hundreds of people, mostly the
elderly, who were clients of the world's largest insurer of lives were being
systematically robbed by unethical agents and a system that looked the other

After Mark had uncovered twelve or thirteen of these cases on his own, he
took his findings to his manager. He was told that finding problem cases
wasn't his job, that "Met would take care of Met". His manager explained
that Mark's "only reason for breathing at Metlife was to sell more
insurance, service his existing clientele, and keep making appointments".
The problems were to be left to someone else so, Mark should "just look the
other way". Mark had serious problems obeying these instructions. In the
past, he had seen elderly women burst into tears at the thought of losing
their money and future security. After pressing the issue with his manager,
he went higher to the next man in the chain of command. Here, he was told
that his manager was right. He was also told that if he didn't stop advising
people to write to the California State Department of Insurance when they
found problems with their policies, he would be "guilty of insubordination,
and that was grounds for termination". Even after this warning, Mark
continued to help people read and understand the nearly incomprehensible
language of the policies and annual reports sent by the company. Once people
understood their peril, the look in their eyes was one of helplessness. Mark
felt he had a "human" responsibility to these people and could not turn his

In March 1994, Mark took approximately twenty cases to the Calif. State
Dept. of Insurance and met with examiners and actuaries to explain the
problems he had found. They were fascinated that the misrepresentations and
fraud was so blatant.

The meeting had taken nearly five hours before Mark felt the investigators
understood the problems. Also during this meeting, Mark shared information
about beneficiary designation discrimination he had encountered. It seems
Metlife had been denying gay people the right to name their "significant
other" as their beneficiary. Metlife paid $125,000 to the Dept. of Ins. to
settle this matter on 11/09/94.

Mark was terminated from Metlife on 04/15/94 when Metlife found out he had
taken the problem to the authorities. The official notice stated the reason
for termination was due to his "inability to follow simple instructions" or
his refusal to turn his head on damaged policy owners.

Mark filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in California's Contra Costa
County in 1994. In the year that followed, he had participated in, been
named in, been written about, or assisted with: 14 news segments on a
Fresno, CA CBS affiliate, Newsweek, Money, Woman's Day, Sales & Marketing
Management magazines, The Wall Street Journal, National Underwriter, San
Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News and many other
publications that alerted people as far away as Ontario, Canada. Mark had
given well over 500 cases to the Dept. of Insurance and watched their agents
raid a Metlife office in Modesto, CA. Not surprisingly, the same office he
worked out of while in the employ of Metlife. He has since seen that
particular office and several others closed by the company and watched the
Western Regional Headquarters leave California for Aurora, Illinois. He has
commented, "if they [Metlife] have tens of thousands of bad policies in this
part of California, why do they want their headquarters sitting right in the
middle of it?

In the summer of 1995, Mark spent seven days being deposed by Metlife's
counsel. During these depositions, he relinquished over 1500 documents to
Metlife including copies of his client files. He wanted to make sure Metlife
had the ability to fix its own problems if he settled. In Sept. 1995,
Metlife agreed to settle Mark's case out of court for the sum of $75,000. In
return for this amount, he agreed to a complete and total gag order. This 16
page document prohibited Mark from contacting victims, lawyers, the Dept. of
Ins., and from acting as a consultant or expert witness. If anyone contacted
him, he was given a specific dialogue to use in order to turn them away from
the truth.

Eric Joss, Esq. of the Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, & Walker law firm in Santa
Monica, CA, was the attorney hired to represent Metlife in Mark's wrongful
termination case. Peter E. Davis, Esq. was Metlife's in-house counsel for
the same case.

At different times, both men assured Mark they would take care of the
victims Mark had found and that his continued work was not needed. Mark was
told that if he found other victims, he was to refer them to Mr. Davis who
would take care of the problems. This was also stated in the settlement
agreement. Mark knew that his complete silence was worth much more than he
was paid but, did not feel he could ever put a price on the life insurance
security of so many people. If Metlife would take care of their problems, he
would step back and let them.

Mark continued to watch the efforts of Metlife to rectify the cases he gave
them. For nearly a year, he gave the Metlife attorneys the names of people
who had contacted him as well as cases he had found. Not at all to his
surprise, he saw absolutely no effort whatsoever to make anyone whole. On
6/13/96, he sent Mr. Davis a letter with the names of ten people who were
definite victims. To date, only one person from that list has been contacted
and this person has not been helped in any way. In a recent meeting with
Davis, Mark was told that the letter was never received by Metife's legal
department in San Ramon, CA. However, exactly three days after Davis should
have received the letter by mail, the first person was telephoned. Strictly

Mark believes Metlife violated the terms of the agreement and therefore, he
will not be bound by it any longer. He does not believe that his agreement
can be enforced and is a violation of public policy. He does not believe
Metlife can take away his constitutional right to inform people of the
problems they will eventually face. "All I'm doing is standing on the
railroad tracks telling old people in wheelchairs to get off, the train is
coming". For this, they have threatened to ruin life as I know it. "I am not
afraid of them, if they want to fight, I will fight to win".

Since making the painful decision to get involved again, Mark has referred
well over one thousand cases to eleven different law firms in several
states. He currently has more cases than he does attorneys to handle them
and the numbers continue to grow. He has said, "I can spend five days in any
city in any state in the nation and collect enough information to initiate a
class suit". Metropolitan Life knows he can do it too. He has been
instrumental in the recent certification of a class action suit in
California. In fact, he supplied every one of the cases being used as the
class representatives. He has been working with attorneys in Arizona in
hopes of bringing an action to that state. He has found and documented
blatant lies by agents, managers, and home office representatives, involving
forgeries and even premium theft by those agents claiming to help. He has
found agents who advise victims to surrender policies and forfeit sometimes
thousands of dollars.

He receives no help whatsoever from the CA. Dept. of Ins. Recently, he
received an audio tape made by one of the Department's senior investigators
explaining that the investigation of Metlife in Calif. had been called off
by the Insurance Commissioner. The same man who was recently fined heavily
for failing to properly acknowledge campaign contributions and who is
procrastinating in punishing an agent guilty of churning over 250 cases.

Mark J. Colbert believes strongly that he has a fiduciary duty to help
people who may not be able to help themselves. Hundreds of thousands, if not
millions of elderly people who have had policies for many, many, years are
being left out to dry. This is not right and he will fight to protect them.

Metropolitan Life will officially discount Mark's part in bringing these
cases to light and claim he is just trying to drum up business for another
company. They will call him dishonest and maybe even a liar. Even though he
receives death threats at his home, he will not quit. If he is a liar, why
then has he been retained by so many different law firms? Why did the State
of California base their investigation on his findings? Why are attorneys
taking his cases as fast as he can produce them? Why does he continue to
receive phone calls from victims, lawyers, and insurance professionals,
nation wide for assistance?

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Email Mark Colbert
at: marx AT cyberlynk DOT com

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at: bhammel AT graham DOT main DOT nc DOT us

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Created: September 17, 1998
Last Updated: February 21, 2002