Senior citizens may rely more and more on professionals to help manage their affairs, but doing so may open them up to stockbroker fraud, which in such cases could also amount to elder abuse. Some unethical stockbrokers will commit stockbroker investment fraud against elderly clients, putting the clients not only at risk of losing their money, but also in a position where that money cannot be regained. A recent incident of stock fraud highlights the issue.
According to KOMO News (12/27/12), a former stockbroker has been sentenced to five years in jail for stealing more than $1 million from an elderly man who was also his client. Prosecutors alleged the stockbroker was an investment advisor for the client, and was later given power of attorney over the man. Among the money that was reportedly stolen were more than $650,000 from a Charles Schwab account, almost $600,000 in checks written from the client's accounts and almost $250,000 in checks for estate services after the client died.
The stockbroker's registration was revoked in 2009. So far, according to prosecutors, none of the stolen money has been returned.
Elderly investors are at risk of coming up against unethical stockbrokers who will steal their clients' money for their own purposes. In some cases, they do so by manipulating the client into giving them power of attorney, gaining access to vital accounts and transferring money to themselves, spending it on luxurious items and trips.
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When Stockbroker Fraud Involves Elder Abuse