They were pitched by a neighbor life insurance agent named Robert Koppel for an investment in other people’s life insurance policies.
Apparently there is a thriving investment field buying life insurance policies from people who can no longer afford to pay the premiums and would rather have something close to the present value of the policies in cash now. When the prior owner of the life insurance policy dies the investors get the cash payment. It’s called “Viaticals”.
Somehow, the investments didn’t go as planned and the company, Redding based Secure Investment Services, started using money from new investors to pay earlier investors i.e. it turned into a Ponzi scheme.