Archive for the ‘Aging Parents’ Category

Seniors Lose Nest Eggs in Alleged Mining Scam

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

He promised low-risk, high return investments.  Who isn’t going to listen to a deal like that?  At least seventeen investors, many of them seniors, did listen to Rick J. Boros, a/k/a Vincent Kwiatkowski (“Boros”) . . .  and lost more than $1.2 million.  On September 3, 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) stopped Boros before he could steal many more millions from many more senior citizens.   The SEC’s press release about the case reads, in part: (more…)

Former A.G. Edwards Branch Manager Accused of Stealing from Alzheimer’s Patient

Monday, June 16th, 2008

The SEC has charged Frederick J. Barton, formerly a vice-president and branch manager of A.G. Edwards in Atlanta, with securities fraud.  The SEC’s complaint details a number of categories of alleged misconduct, the common denominator of which is Barton’s alleged misappropriation of other peoples’ money to fund his lavish lifestyle. (more…)

Our Most Vulnerable

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I was visiting yesterday with a friend at the SEC after teaching the SEC’s interns about insider trading.  My friend shared with me that his father is prone to fall for financial scams, and that only constant warning from my friend keeps him from falling for more of them. Now, this is a man whose son has spent his career protecting investors from financial scams, and yet he still finds the sales pitches compelling. What’s going on here?  How is this even possible?   My friend put his finger on the primary reason why senior citizens so often fall for financial scams.  “They are lonely,” he said.  (more…)

US Pair Accused of Scamming Elderly UK Residents Out of $70 Million

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Paul Robert Gunter, 58, and his daughter, Zibiah Joy Gunter, 25, have been charged with duping thousands of mainly elderly UK victims into investing more than $70 million in bogus corporations.  According to the complaint, the Gunter’s high jacked dormant shell companies, created a compelling story about each, and sold worthless stock in the companies through high pressure sales tactics to 15,000 elderly residents of the United Kingdom.  (more…)

Optimism Claims More Victims

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Tom Bayles’s story yesterday in the Sarasota Herald Tribune makes the case for SEC-trained investigation of any broker baby boomers or seniors consider trusting with their nest egg.  It’s a cautionary tale about retirees who chose to bypass professional help in choosing whom to trust and now face retirement without their life savings.  Read the story if you have a minute.  It comes with a complete cast of characters and is well worth your time. 

The events described in Bayles’s story are typical and will recur hundreds of times this year.  An excerpt from a  scholarly paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry, written by Kristen J. Prentice, Ph.D., James M. Gold, Ph.D., and William T. Carpenter Jr., M.D. suggests why: (more…)

Your Friendly Neighborhood Insurance Agent

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

There’s always a big house and nice car.  Ponzi scheme operators can’t help buying them.  Even so, Michael Duane Smith (Smith) may hold the record for extravagance among Ponzi operators.  He bought not just a house, but a $6.5 million castle in Colorado.  He bought not just a nice car, but a stable of eight high-performance NASCAR racing cars.  Smith now faces 15 years in prison in connection with a Ponzi scheme that collected more than $50 million from 1,000 investors, many of them elderly retirees, nationwide.  (more…)

Elderly Parents At Risk

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

She trusted him.  He’d been her broker for more than 20 years.  When her husband died in 1999 and she wanted to set up a charitable foundation to benefit the arts, she made the broker an officer and trustee of the foundation.  In 2000, when she entered a nursing home in failing health, she gave the broker her power of attorney, authorizing him to engage in banking transactions on her behalf.  (more…)

The Investment Decision You Can’t Delegate to a Broker

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

As the U.S. economy tumbles and the world economy trembles, businesses will begin laying off workers.  In October, AOL announced that it would be laying off 2000 employees.  Yahoo is planning on laying off hundreds of employees.  Airbus is set to cut 10,000 jobs.  (more…)

SEC Fries Book Cooker

Friday, February 8th, 2008

The SEC has charged Larry A. Rodda, a former KPMG Consulting principal, with aiding and abetting a “massive financial fraud orchestrated by senior officers at Peregrine Systems, Inc., a San Diego software company that has since been acquired by Hewlett-Packard Company.”The SEC alleged that Rodda signed four sham software license agreements that allowed Peregrine to improperly record approximately $22 million in revenue.  The SEC’s litigation release provides the details: (more…)

One for the Record Books

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Today, police led Val E. Southwick out of his office in handcuffs bringing to a close what prosecutors are calling perhaps the biggest scam in Utah history.  For the 800 people who invested through Southwick, though, today was only the beginning of a long journey during which they will learn how much, if any, of their nest eggs have survived the scam. (more…)

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