John Hancock Joins Enron Controversy

April 15, 2002 ( - Subsidiaries of John Hancock Financial Services have filed a lawsuit against 27 Enron Corporation officials, which also names the group's auditors, Arthur Andersen.

The Hancock subsidiaries want to be compensated for losses suffered on investments in non- publicly traded securities issued by bankrupt energy trader Enron and its affiliates.

The suit, which was filed in US District Court in Houston, charges that these investments were made based on false, misleading and incomplete information provided by the company and rubber stamped by Andersen.

While eventual plaintiffs could include numerous financial institutions, the subsidiaries, which had invested approximately $215 million during the period covered by the suit, are:

  • Investors Partner Life Insurance Company
  • John Hancock Life Insurance Company
  • John Hancock Variable Life Insurance Company.

The suit alleges that officers and directors of Enron made approximately $1 billion in profit on insider trading of Enron stock during the period covered by the suit.

In a prepared statement, David D’Alessandro, chairman and chief executive officer of John Hancock Financial Services, said, “We are alleging that Enron’s officers and directors were directly complicit in the fraud perpetrated against us. It is our belief that they personally profited from this fraud and, as a result, it is entirely appropriate to file the action directly against them.”