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WASHINGTON — Lawyers handling refunds in the First Command Financial Planning case have received hundreds of e-mails in the past week regarding the payouts, mainly from troops serving overseas.

Wayne M. Secore, the attorney administering the restitution program, said his staff is working to respond to those soldiers and other affected by the case as quickly as possible. But troops have until March 15 to recoup their losses, which he said leaves plenty of time for officials to handle the requests. In addition, that deadline can be extended if troops can’t file in time because of unusual hardship, such as serving in a combat zone, he said.

Last week, First Command agreed to refund about $4 million to certain customers who bought mutual funds from the firm between 1999 and this year. The company mostly caters to military personnel, and securities investigators accused them of misleading investors about service charges in their systematic investment plans.

The company no longer offers those investments, officials announced last week. First Command’s other financial services — such as life insurance and banking programs — were not affected by the settlement.

The refunds will be available only to customers who bought and sold their systematic investment plans between 1999 and this year, Secore said. Eligible individuals should be receiving letters detailing how to obtain the payouts in the next few weeks.

Secore said troops with additional questions can contact him at

Investors who still hold their First Command plans may be eligible for arbitration to recover certain service fees. Those claims will be handled through the National Association of Securities Dealers, the brokerage industry’s self-policing organization.


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