Transfers Out Of 73-Year-Old Client’s Account
Money Withdrawn For Personal Use
Advisor Faces Up To 20 Years In Prison
Access to a senior’s bank or investment account is an irresistible temptation for unscrupulous advisors and brokers. Sometimes the advisor is a new acquaintance of the senior but sometimes the advisor is someone who has worked with the senior for years and gained his or trust. Whether the relationship is old or new, a senior is vulnerable to financial exploitation when someone else has access to his or her money. As the senior loses ability to manage his or her affairs or monitor their accounts, the dangers increase. Older persons do not have someone independently overseeing their business dealings with a broker or a close family member reviewing statements. As a result, there may be many instances where a broker’s theft from customer accounts goes unnoticed for years, and might not in fact be discovered until after the client’s death when the heirs see the account balances and activity for the first time. Whenever you detect irregularities in a senior’s financial accounts or even suspect that a senior may be taken advantage of by someone, seek legal counsel. Taking of a senior’s property is both a crime and grounds for civil suit. See Cal. Penal Code § 368 (crime of elder abuse) and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse for civil liability purposes). Evans Law Firm, Inc. has years of experience representing seniors who are victims of abuse from advisors, brokers, insurance agents, trustees, bankers, caregivers and others. If you’re the victim of financial elder abuse here in Contra Costa County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Advisors Pleads Guilty To Theft From Senior
In one recently reported case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought an emergency action against an investment advisor charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly advisory client. The SEC initially alleged that the advisor stole roughly $300,000 from a retired 73-year-old client. Subsequent investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) determined that the amount taken from the elderly victim was more than $668,000. According to the DOJ’s complaint, the advisor liquidated securities in the client’s accounts, transferring the proceeds of the sales to a bank account he held jointly with the client for investment purposes and to facilitate the payment of miscellaneous monthly expenses. The advisor allegedly withdrew over $621,000 in cash from the account on numerous occasions and at different bank locations. The complaint alleges that the client did not know of or approve the withdrawals and did not receive the cash that the advisor withdrew. The advisor will be sentenced in August and faces up to 20 years in prison on the charges
Watching A Senior’s Accounts And Money
As the reported case illustrates, this particular advisor was able for years to transfer a senior’s money around accounts and withdraw over $621,000 IN CASH without being detected. If someone had been reviewing the senior’s account statements, this kind of theft would not have gone unnoticed in these amounts. But this pattern of repeated transfers and thefts (and the amounts involved) is not uncommon. Where a senior is incapacitated or for whatever reason unable to monitor his or her accounts alone, this kind of fraud can recur again and again. In the reported case, the senior trusted the broker’s explanation that the decreases in his account were due to downward movement in the stock market. Don’t let your older loved ones be injured by this kind of sustained abuse. Stay involved in a senior loved one’s life and look for signs of financial abuse. Review bank records and bills continually. Do a background check on anyone you allow in their home to help them. Keep all important financial papers, Social Security numbers, ATM cards and credit cards safely stowed away. Make sure there’s not a lot of cash or jewelry around that can disappear. Most importantly – never ever allow the senior to give a caregiver a Power of Attorney. If you suspect abuse, notify the authorities but also call elder law counsel to help you pursue all available remedies against anyone responsible for abuse, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your suit under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of financial elder abuse in Contra Costa County San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call 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 reported case in any way.