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Walter Sturhahn, 71, lost his inheritance

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When Walter Sturhahn's mother cashed out her $200,000 segregated fund to invest with an insurance agent who later declared bankruptcy, he lost his inheritance.

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When insurance regulators began looking into Vancouver-based Lynne Zlotnik Wealth Management Inc. this year – a firm she created in 2006 to sell life insurance and other investment products – they were troubled by what they found. Several of her clients had invested a total of more than $1.4-million in her company on the promise of a lucrative return. The clients included 96-year-old Katie Sturhahn, who cashed out a $200,000 segregated fund, an investment fund that comes with insurance guarantees, and instead put her faith in the insurance agent.

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Walt Sturhahn in his home in Vancouver.

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Walt Sturhahn holds a picture of his late mother, Katie Sturhahn, at his home in Vancouver.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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