Securities Broker Sentenced For Theft From Elderly Client
Access To Account, Unauthorized Transactions, And Theft
Broker Sentenced To Five Years In Prison
Seniors are vulnerable to financial elder abuse from strangers and caregivers who come into a senior’s life only towards the end of a senior’s life. But seniors are also vulnerable to financial advisors, brokers, insurance agents, trustees and others with whom the senior may have had a relationship for years. Whether the abuser is a stranger or a longtime advisor for a senior, any financial abuse or theft can be devastating. Evans Law Firm, Inc. has years of experience representing seniors who are victims of abuse from any actors and whether the injured senior still lives in their home or reside in nursing homes or assisted care facilities. While isolated seniors are most vulnerable, really any senior can be a target whether living at home alone or in a facility. We represent California seniors who suffer financial elder abuse at the hands of caregivers or strangers with access to a senior’s money or at the hands of insurance agents, financial advisors, retirement planners and stockbrokers whether by sales of unsuitable investments including annuities, unauthorized trades, misrepresenting investments, failing to disclose important information, or theft. If you’re the victim of financial elder abuse here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Financial Elder Abuse By Broker
In one recently reported case, we can see the dangers of financial elder abuse by a stock broker or financial abuse. In the case, a former investment broker was recently sentenced to five years in prison for stealing nearly $934,000 from two elderly clients. The former broker plead guilty to securities fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Court records show that for decades the broker acted as the registered representative for three brokerage accounts owned by a retired WWII veteran. The broker reportedly changed investment firms several times, while transferring the man’s accounts each time. The U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case noted that “Over time, [the broker] inserted himself into the financial affairs of this client and in the later years of the client’s life, he visited him at his home. Relatives at the hearing testified that the client died believing that his dwindling investment accounts were caused solely by stock market activity.” Then in the last years of the victim’s life, the broker allegedly forged wire transfer letters from the victim’s IRA account to his own bank. By the time the 98-year-old victim died, officials say the broker had made 74 unauthorized transfers and stole more than $900,000 from him. Within weeks of the first victim’s death, the broker stole another $32,000 from another elderly brokerage customer using similar methods. Following the broker’s guilty plea, he was sentenced to five years in prison.
In the reported case, the broker was able to execute 74 unauthorized transfers out of his victim’s brokerage account without getting caught. If someone had been reviewing the senior’s account statements, the unauthorized transfers could have been detected. This pattern of repeated transfers and thefts 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.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of financial elder abuse in 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:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</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.