Arbitrator Awards $19 Million To Victim Of Fraud And Financial Elder Abuse
Allegations of Forgeries And Unauthorized Stock Purchases
FINRA Finds Fraud And Elder Financial Abuse
Financial elder abuse can strike anyone but when the wealthy are victims, the stories of what happened to them receive national attention. Last week, an arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) awarded a 94-year-old heiress $19 million against a bank and two of its employees (who were also the victim’s grandsons) based on allegations of fraud and financial elder abuse brought by the victim. The amounts of money involved in the case were large, but the same pattern of forgeries, undue influence, unauthorized transactions and other fraud and abusive schemes can occur in any financial elder abuse case, large or small. If you yourself or an older loved is suffering this kind of financial abuse here in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, call us today. The financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent injured seniors and their families in Los Angeles and throughout California. Our elder abuse litigators can be reach at (415)441-8669.
Allegations of Fraud and Financial Elder Abuse
In the reported FINRA case, a 94-year-old heiress of a large Midwestern retail store chain, alleged that her stockbrokers (who were her grandsons) made a number of “extremely complex, highly risky” investments worth more than $72 million with her money, which led to losses of more than $10 million, but allegedly yielded the men and the bank where they worked hundreds of thousands in fees. Between 2015 and 2018, her complaint alleged that the defendants were responsible for hundreds of transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including many where they and their employer stood to earn a profit as market makers, or broker-dealers that trade particular stocks. According to the complaint, emails in the victim’s name were forged in order to get certain trades approved. The victim’s attorney pointed out that the victim did not even own a computer. The complaint also alleged missing account statements, document shredding, and unexplained credit-card charges. In total, the elderly victim claimed $69 million in damages. She was awarded $19 million and defendants are considering challenging the arbitration panel’s ruling.
“Unusual” Visits and Other Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
It is not only the wealthy who can be targeted for this kind of elder abuse. Even if the reported case, a cousin and the caregiver of the victim were the first individuals to sound an alarm on the alleged abuse as the result of “unusual” visits by the defendants and allegations of destroying papers in her apartment. Family and loved ones should be mindful of any suspicious activities and alert elder counsel if they suspect any problems. There are short time frames to bring cases, so always reach out for help immediately if something is wrong. Here are a few telltale signs you may want to watch out for:
- New bank accounts the senior and family member can’t access
- Missing records
- Frequent and unannounced visits by persons wanting to transact business with a senior
- Changes in where Social Security and retirement checks are deposited
- Unpaid care or utility bills
- Sudden increase in ATM withdrawals or unfamiliar purchases or spending habits.
- New friends or “advisors” whom you have never heard of in your loved one’s life before.
- Credit cards maxed out, used without permission, unpaid or otherwise harming an older person’s credit score
- Coercing a senior to make gifts or advance loans
- Changes in trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney or other important legal documents
- Refusing to provide money for necessary or shared expenses like food, clothing, transportation, medical care or medicine
Ingrid M. Evans and our other financial elder abuse attorneys represent seniors in Los Angeles and throughout California who are victims of any kind of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at email@example.com. Ingrid and her team of financial elder abuse attorneys will pursue all remedies available to you or your injured senior loved one including getting stolen money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.