$2 Million Missing From Seniors’ Accounts
Promises Of High Returns Enticed Older Investors
Money Transferred To Advisor’s Personal Accounts
Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents seniors themselves who are victims of financial elder abuse and the children or other family of deceased seniors who have been financially exploited. Often it takes years for some complicated elder financial abuse schemes to unwind and be detected. In many cases, the scheme is not discovered until the victim as died, particularly if the abuse centered around changes in an estate plan that benefitted the abuser or occurred in accounts to which only the deceased (and no one else in his or her family) had access to but only comes to light after death. However the theft occurs, and however long it lasts, financial abuse is a crime and grounds for civil liability. See Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). The abusers, and anyone assisting them, can be liable for restitution (getting the injured party’s money back), rescission (undoing some harmful contract the victim was persuaded to enter), damages, punitive damages and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing suit. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5. We can represent victims of financial elder abuse and their families in Carmel or anywhere else throughout California and pursue all of these remedies against all responsible parties. If you need help, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Financial Elder Abuse Sentencing
In one reported case, an attorney and CPA who also offered investment services pleaded guilty to defrauding numerous seniors as part of a Ponzi scheme. The individual has now been sentenced to over 10 years in prison and ordered to pay back nearly $2 million in restitution. Court documents indicate that the individual recruited elderly investors and promised returns of 4-8% over many years. Prosecutors said the man provided statements that showed the purported gain in the seniors’ investments. But in fact, the investment company’s account was nearly empty, according to court records. When investors requested information about their money, the defendant allegedly misrepresented balances on account statements. Federal indictments and complaints in multiple civil cases accused the defendant, who invested money on behalf of his clients, of paying back investors with money from other clients in a Ponzi scheme setup. The defendant allegedly embezzled close to $2 million as a part of the scheme and from clients who hired him to administer their wills, funneling money into his private or company accounts.
Characteristics of Fraudulent Investment Schemes
Claims of guaranteed returns and minimal risk
Many promoters of fraudulent investment schemes advertise them as excellent investment opportunities. However, the SEC warns against trusting investment opportunities that offer guaranteed returns and/or minimal risks. If you see an investment opportunity the offers guaranteed success, it may be a sign of fraud. The SEC notes legitimate investments have values that change according to various economic factors and market conditions. Be wary of an investment that provides the same returns every month, especially when other economic factors experience significant changes.
Lack of agency licenses
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), most fraudulent investment schemes center on investments that are not properly registered with either state regulatory bodies or the SEC itself. In many cases, fraudulent investment firms do not have the proper licenses or registrations. It may be difficult for you to access essential information about the investment company, such as its managers and financial statements, without completed registrations.
The SEC states that comprehensive paperwork and documentation is an important aspect of a legitimate investment opportunity. Many fraudulent investment schemes do not provide complete written information about the investment. Documentation that is full of errors may be another sign of a fraudulent scheme.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Carmel or elsewhere in California contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.