"Many states have elder abuse statutes that are designed to protect seniors from a variety of fraud, including financial fraud. However, if your state does not have such a statute, do not despair as there are numerous other laws that can assist seniors in recovering their money. FINRA even has a rule that provides for expedited arbitrations for seniors or seriously ill parties."Tracy Stoneman: Securities Arbitration Attorney Domestic Raiding – One Family's Dirty Secrect, Revealed
If you think being the victim of Broker or Brokerage fraud is bad, imagine the terrible emotional crush at being the victim of home-grown family financial fraud. Your own flesh and blood is raiding your funds...
Does this sound familiar, an elderly family member can no longer live without full-time senior care. It will cost too much to hire a full-time caregiver so to her rescue comes a loving granddaughter who is attending community college (she offers to move in and take care of grandma) Your prayers have been answered! Or have they?
Slowly grandma's health starts slipping, (to tell the truth her granddaughter won't take her to her doctor's appointments, doesn't always pickup grandma's prescriptions or won't administer the Rx doses at the proper time, if at all) and for some reason grandma's frequently at the emergency room due to injuries that are reported as falls (has grandma suddenly become clumsy or is this the result of negligence by her granddaughter or something else?).
Grandma's checking account balance is considerably lower and her Social Security check doesn't stretch as far as usual. The "nest egg" is gone, food is scarce, and you receive a call that from the utilities company threatening to cut them off unless you make the payment. Never has grandma been so financially impoverished (you discover that the loving granddaughter is embezzling money by forging grandma's signature to checks and ordering products online using grandma's profile, established by the granddaughter.) You discover, to your horror, the state of grandma's financial stability! You find credit cards have been established and maxed out, loans granted in grandma's name, the family's inheritance through grandma's portfolio has been reduced to ashes. Grandma's broker and loving granddaughter have moved everything into fast moving, risky accounts and have emptied the coffers. The broker has made a small fortune in commissions!
Sound unbelievable? This is an ongoing case in Virginia. The granddaughter is facing felony counts of city, state, and federal charges of elder abuse. Charges of forgery, embezzlement, identity fraud, obtaining credit through false statements, and so on! The broker has been fired and the funds have been returned including all commissions. The family is relying on legal counsel to guide them through the turmoil ahead.
Conclusion: When asked why grandma didn't say anything or complain about the situation she replied, "It was my granddaughter"NASAA
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA): Tasked to protect Main-Street investors from fraud, adopted a Model Act in February of 2016 designed to protect the most vulnerable investors – Seniors.
The Model Act provides as follows:
- Mandates reporting to the state securities regulator and state adult protective services agency when a qualified individual such as a securities broker or investment adviser has a reasonable belief that financial exploitation of an eligible adult has been attempted or has occurred.
- Authorizes notification to third parties only in instances where an eligible adult has previously designated the third party to whom the disclosure may be made. Importantly, the model act directs that disclosure may not be made to the third party if the qualified individual suspects the third part of the financial exploitation.
- Enables broker-dealers or investment advisers to impose an initial delay of disbursements from an account of an eligible adult for up to 15 business days if financial exploitation is suspected. The delay can be extended for an additional 10 days at the request of either the state securities regulator or adult protective services.
- Provides immunity from administrative or civil liability for broker-dealers and investment advisers for taking actions including delaying disbursements as permitted under the act.
- Requires qualified individuals such as securities brokers or investment advisers to provide records that are relevant to the suspected or attempted financial exploitation to government authorities.
The model act applies to adults age 65 and older and individuals who qualify for protection under a state adult protective services statute.
For more information contact: The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)