Many Victims Were Elderly Customers
Unauthorized Trades And Money Transfers
Money Allegedly Spent On Gold Coins And Luxury Goods
Financial advisors and brokers have access to customer accounts and unscrupulous advisors and brokers use that access to steal from clients, especially elderly clients who may not catch irregularities in their accounts or may trust the excuses brokers give for why account balances are down. This kind of theft can be devastating and wipe out all of an elderly client’s life savings. Such theft may constitute federal securities law crimes and State crimes, and be the basis for a civil lawsuit for damages. See Section 24 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77x (2006); Section 32(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78ff(a) (2006); Section 49 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80a-48 (2006); Section 217 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80b-17 (2006); Cal. Penal Code § 368 (defining criminal elder abuse) and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(definition of financial elder abuse for civil actions). Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents seniors financially exploited by financial advisors and stockbrokers whether by sales of unsuitable investments including annuities, unauthorized trades, misrepresenting investments, failing to disclose important information, or plain theft of funds. We pursue all available remedies for injured seniors including awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your action. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5. 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).
Recent SEC Charges Against Financial Advisor
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced charges against a financial advisor, which illustrate how advisors may steal from elderly clients. In the case, the SEC alleges that the advisor transferred money from his customers’ account to third parties and accounts held in his wife’s and parents’ names by altering pre-signed checks to circumvent his firm’s compliance department. In total, the SEC alleges he stole $2.86 million through 137 fraudulent transactions over a five-year span. According to the SEC the broker directed customers to sign blank checks or gave the client a completed check authorization form but told the customer that the money was being used to purchase legitimate securities investments when in fact he was directing them to personal expenses. The SEC alleges that the broker used the stolen funds to pay down his personal credit card debt, and purchase gold coins and luxury goods. The charges are currently pending.
Protecting Senior Consumers
Protect your older loved ones by:
- Monitoring all financial account statements.
- Never give a broker a signed, blank check.
- Accompany older loved ones to all business meetings.
- Look for unusual increases in trading or account transfers.
- Be part of the relationship your loved one has with their bankers, attorneys and other professionals.
- Watch for:
- Excessive trading, especially one where commissions are involved
- “Churning,” where a stockbroker conducts continual transactions that generate fees but deplete your account
Before you invest any money with a stockbroker check their background and use free resources for finding questions you should ask. You can also learn more about a stockbroker or investment advisor you’re considering with FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool, which is also free and available 24/7 online, or by phone at (800) 289-9999.
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:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in the reported case in any way.