Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has filed yet another lawsuit against Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., charging the firm with disregarding repeated demands to produce documentation having to do with wrongdoings in the company's mutual fund and insurance divisions, the Boston Business Journal reports.
Galvin is seeking proof of whether Jared O'Connell, a former employee of the firm's OppenheimerFunds Distributor unit, told his brother in-law Rex Hampton, who worked at MassMutual, about company trading strategies. O'Connell is the son of former MassMutual CEO Robert O'Connell, who himself came under scrutiny and lost his job this past summer when an internal investigation found he had jiggered profits in his retirement account and destroyed files dealing with his son's alleged transgressions. It was that internal investigation that triggered Galvin's probe.
Galvin's case, filed last month in Suffolk Superior Court, charges that the younger O'Connell violated Massachusetts securities law. It also attests that Galvin's latest document requests are more specific and should be honored, particularly in light of the company's cooperation for similar information from other Massachusetts and Connecticut regulators.
But MassMutual claims that by asking a judge to impose his subpoena for the firm's internal documents, Galvin is overstepping the boundaries of his regulatory authority. MassMutual has not only resisted providing documentation, the firm has also asked a Hampden County Superior Court judge to block Galvin's investigation. The firm also issued a statement saying it believes it is "in full compliance" with the law and that "to the extent there may be any disagreement with Mr. Galvin's office, we hope to resolve it amicably."