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Jerry Reiss ASA**

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Are Professional Organizations Operating Like Criminal Enterprises?

Are Professional Organizations like the Society of Actuaries, that exist ostensible to feed  itself by collecting  enormous fees from its members, operating as a criminal enterprise when it uses its power to prevent former members from doing any type of work without paying them tribute.  Is this a violation of RICOH? I think so.  Here’s my story.

I passed the associateship level of the SOA in 1982 and joined the Society of Actuaries and became a member.  At that time membership was voluntary.  I passed 7EA in 1983.  Thereafter I applied for and became a federally licensed pension Actuary.  In 1984, I started my own firm.  Defined benefit plans started to become scarce after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 became fully effective in 1989, causing me to look for another profession.  I applied my skill to forensic work in 1993 and fully transitioned into that line of work by 1999 when I closed my TPA, terminating my last defined benefit plan.  That was when I stopped paying the Society of Actuaries dues.  I still provided another firm actuarial certification until it terminated its last defined benefit plan, which was before 12/31/2000.  Thereafter, I did not make one dime from actuarial work from 1/01/2001 through 12/31/2007.  Shortly thereafter, I created my website.

The Great Recession affected many businesses and especially those that depended on new clients for their current income.  My income was slashed by more than 70%.  That caused me to update my site and advertise my credentials to see if I could attract a large pension company to offer me a job.  It did do just that but because I allowed my enrollment status to go inactive, no one was going to wait for me to activate it by acquiring the necessary continuing education requirements, which would have taken and did take about six months.  I reactivated my status as of April 2011 and sought actuarial certification work to pay continuing education credits and nothing more.  My income as one of the nation’s top experts fully rebounded by 2015.

In January 2015, a trader making $1,000,000 per year was forced to pay back child support in a proceeding that I was involved as an expert witness.  My role in that case was showing that his compensation included forgivable loans, which is a rather typical way people on WallStreet are paid today.  Owing more than one-quarter million dollars and having to pay he swore vengeance against me in court that was overheard by many.  He reported the matter to the Joint Board, of which I was a member, which refused to discipline me because I did nothing wrong.  He made the same complaint to the SOA that began to investigate me as a non-member.  It ordered me in writing to remove all references to passing the actuarial exams unless I applied for reinstatement.  It also ordered me to change my business name, Jerry Reiss, ASA, advising me it had a trade mark of it and therefore advised me I was in violation of that trademark.  I complied with all they asked to avoid litigation but refused to change my business name which I had been using since 1993.

I checked in 2015 and learned that it had no such trademark rights on neither the ASA designation nor the FSA designation, but 50 other organizations did, including the American Statistical Association, which I since joined, and the American Society of Appraisers, which conducts a vigorous examination process, similar to the actuaries, and its ASA designation is the most prestigious in America for business valuations.  Since I refused to change my business name or pay them tribute (involving over $10,000 in back dues) it threatened litigation and first applied for trademark rights three months before it filed against me in federal court on December 1, 2016.  As it was not economically viable over a mere $10,000 I was used to no doubt send a strong message to the 100s of other pension actuaries who stopped paying dues.   How is what they do different than what the American Mafia did for so-called protection rackets?