For more than a decade, a deeply flawed system has allowed companies to make tens of millions off some of Virginia and Maryland's most vulnerable residents. Bereft of scrutiny or regulation, it was easy. But the Post has now made it hard. In a series of articles, McCoy revealed the secretive world of structured settlement purchasing. Structured settlements, as opposed to traditional settlements, dispense the compensation in small installments across decades to protect the mentally-disabled and vulnerable from spending all of the money immediately.