A recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration award
in favor of a 96 year-old investor included treble damages for elder abuse.
Under California’s elder abuse statute, plaintiffs may recover triple
their actual damages if there has been “financial abuse.”
David Wolfson alleged that two brokers, Thomas B. Cooper and Peter L. Boorn
of StockCross Financial Services, Inc., with various misconduct.
Among other things, Mr. Cooper encouraged leveraging the equity in Mr.
Wolfson’s home with a reverse-mortgage transaction in order to invest
additional capital. Mr. Cooper also placed Mr. Wolfson on margin.
Mr. Wolfson had been a client of Mr. Cooper for nearly twenty years when
Mr. Cooper suddenly dropped the account in 2008. Mr. Cooper allegedly
exhausted all of Mr. Wolfson’s savings, including using insurance
money Mr. Wolfson received to replace his car, to invest. When all of
Mr. Wolfson’s funds had been used up, Mr. Cooper quit.
The arbitrators awarded Mr. Wolfson compensatory damages in the amount
of $320,000, and treble damages ($960,000) for elder abuse. The award
also included attorneys’ fees, interest, costs, and expenses.
To learn more about FINRA arbitration, watch our video.