Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has fined a subsidiary of Mass Mutual $250,000 fine over its failure to supervise an agent who defrauded clients.

The agent of MLS Investment Services, the Mass Mutual subsidiary, allegedly pressured clients into unsuitable high-commission insurance products to line his own pockets, according to the announcement from the Massachusetts securities regulator.

MLS Investment Services agreed to pay the fine and disgorge any profits related to the unlawful actions of the agent, and to conduct an internal review of its supervisory procedures, the regulator says.

Meanwhile, Galvin’s office has also filed a separate complaint against the agent, Charles Evan, seeking to ban him permanently from operating in Massachusetts. Evan, who has since been terminated by his employers and barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, allegedly aggressively pushed clients into variable annuities, while falsely claiming not to be receiving commissions for the sale of those products, the regulator says.

“Evan perpetrated a deceptively simple scheme for almost 10 years by subjecting his clients to high-pressure boiler room sales tactics and outright fraudulent misstatements, misrepresentations, and omissions while advising those clients to purchase high commission products intended solely to generate large profits for himself,” according to the Massachusetts Securities Division complaint against Evan.

Evan allegedly advised clients to liquidate assets from their retirement accounts in order to fund additional, unnecessary life insurance policy purchases as investment vehicles, which in turn drove up his commissions, according to the regulator.

In some cases, clients fell behind on payments and were still pressured by Evan to contribute additional funds to keep the policies in place, the regulator says.

“Evan repeatedly urged clients to act quickly on purchases by misrepresenting that the products he offered were the result of special deals that were only available for a short time, often telling clients that they had as little as 24 hours to decide whether to invest,” according to the complaint.

In addition to a permanent ban from operating in Massachusetts, the regulator is also seeking an order to require Evan to pay restitution to compensate affected investors for their losses and to pay an administrative fine.

Evan started in the industry in 1997, when he registered with Capital Analysts, and had been registered with seven firms, according to his BrokerCheck record. He was previously registered as a broker-dealer agent with Baystate Financial, as well as an investment advisor representative with Baystate Wealth Management and his own company, Capital Planning Group of Massachusetts, according to Galvin’s office.

In 2020, without admitting or denying the findings, Evan consented to a Finra bar over his refusal to provide documents and information requested by the self-regulator when it began investigating him about his termination in connection with allegations concerning inappropriate traditional insurance sales practices.