Do you remember reports about BOLI, and 54-year old Melissa Millan, who was killed November 20, 2014?
The coroner’s report determined that Millan’s death was attributable to a stab wound to the chest with an “edged weapon.” Police ruled the death a homicide.
Wall Street On Parade reports:
- Melissa Millan was Senior Vice President with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and a member of its 39-member Senior Management team according to the company’s 2013 annual report. Millan had been with the company since 2001.
- Information has now emerged that Millan had access to highly sensitive data on bank profits resulting from the collection of life insurance proceeds from her insurance company employer on the death of bank workers – data that a Federal regulator of banks has characterized as “trade secrets.”
- BOLI is shorthand for Bank-Owned Life Insurance, a controversial practice where banks purchase bulk life insurance on the lives of their workers. The death benefit pays to the bank instead of to the family of the deceased. According to industry publications, MassMutual is considered one of the top ten sellers of BOLI in the United States. Its annual reports in recent years have indicated that growth in this area was a significant contributor to its revenue growth.
- The cash buildup in the policies contribute to annual earnings on a tax-free basis while the death benefit is received free of Federal income tax when the employee eventually dies. Even if the worker is no longer employed at the bank, it can still collect the death benefit. Banks owning BOLI routinely conduct “death sweeps” of public records using former employees’ Social Security numbers to determine if a former employee has died. It then submits a claim request for payment of the death benefit to the insurance company.
- Details on the number of workers insured and the annual amounts that big Wall Street banks report as profits on the death of their current and former workers are closely guarded secrets
“While the OCC refused to provide this information, Millan was among a limited group outside of Federal regulators who was in a position to have broad data on the death benefit claims being submitted by multiple banks. Having data across multiple banks could have facilitated the type of peer review studies we had requested from the OCC – trade secrets that Wall Street does not want to allow into the sunshine.”
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