$50,000 restitution check awarded to Anaconda fraud victim

HELENA — Commissioner Troy Downing signed a $50,000 restitution check for a fraud victim Friday, according to a news release from the office of the Montana State Auditor.

Susan Bivins, of Anaconda, was the victim of an elaborate fraud scheme that cost her not only her checking and savings accounts but also her entire retirement savings. Bivins reported the scheme to various law enforcement agencies after being defrauded over a year ago, the release said. 

Anaconda woman warns others after losing her life savings to a scam
Susan Bivins holds a folder containing documents and research she completed after being scammed out of more than $200,000 from her savings and retirement accounts earlier this year. Bivens hopes her story can help others avoid the same fate.


Also per the release, while the Montana Securities Division was not contacted then, Downing heard Bivens’ story and engaged CSI Deputy Securities Commissioner Brett Olin to investigate. The securities division investigated, filed charges, and obtained a judgment against the fictitious entity.

Once the order was obtained and the perpetrator failed to pay over $100,000 in restitution, Bivens filed an application to the Lynne Egan Memorial Securities Restitution Fund. Earlier this week, the restitution board met and approved a restitution award of $50,000 to Bivins.

The Lynne Egan Memorial Securities Restitution Fund was posthumously named in honor of the late Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan, who championed this program after working with the North American Securities Administrator Association (NASAA) on drafting a model law that was widely supported by industry.

The restitution fund is not taxpayer-funded but instead is funded by funds levied by CSI against bad actors and by a percentage of investment adviser registration fees. Last year, at CSI’s request, Gov. Greg Gianforte proclaimed the Securities Assistance Restitution Fund be renamed in honor of the late Lynne Egan.

“Although this restitution was only a fraction of what Ms. Bivins lost in this fraud, I am happy that CSI came through to help a Montana fraud victim just in time for Christmas,” Downing said in the release. “I am proud of the good work that our securities and legal departments did to come to a good result here.”

For questions or to report investment fraud, contact the CSI securities team by calling 406-444-2040 or visiting CSIMT.gov.

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