WACO, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge has ordered a Waco-based life settlements firm to preserve records and assets after state officials alleged the firm is in "dire financial straits."

Life Partners has been a past target of federal and state securities regulators. The Waco Tribune-Herald (http://bit.ly/NjuWlO) reports Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott accused the firm Friday of multiple violations of state securities law. He also accused the firm of fraudulently underestimating client life expectancies.

With life settlements, policyholders sell their life insurance policies in return for a lump-sum payment. Investors buy the right to collect the policy's death benefits but must continue to pay premiums until the original policyholder dies.

State District Judge Orlinda Naranjo (nah-RAHN'-hoh) granted the order and scheduled a hearing.

Life Partners Holdings Chairman Brian Pardo denies the allegations.


Information from: Waco Tribune-Herald, http://www.wacotrib.com