An estimated 7.3 million people over the age of 65 have been the victims of financial fraud. That’s about 20 percent of all adults over 65. Fraudsters often take advantage of cognitive decline or impaired decision making in seniors, and many families don’t find out their loved one has become a victim of fraud until it’s too late. If you are concerned about your elderly parents or another family member, we encourage you to talk to your loved one about investment scams and learn more about spotting the signs of fraud.
A complaint filed by FINRA this month highlights the problems of financial abuse with senior citizens. FINRA accuses John Anthony Waszolek (CRD# 800403), a licensed stockbroker formerly at UBS Financial Services, Inc., of allegedly attempting to make himself a beneficiary of his 81-year-old customer. The customer had no children, was a widow, and was legally blind. Waszolek allegedly transported her to a doctor appointment where the doctor diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s disease. FINRA alleges that afterwards, Waszolek attempted to amend the customer’s trust to name himself residual beneficiary. In 2010, when the customer passed away, Waszolek allegedly attempted to collect $1.8 million from the customer’s trust account.
FINRA describes Waszolek’s alleged behavior as “unethical” in regard to accusations that he accepted the responsibility of successor trustee and residual beneficiary to his client’s trust even though, FINRA says, he knew that his client did not have the testamentary capacity to do so. Waszolek is currently a registered stockbroker at Raymond James & Associates.
Sadly, the elderly are the most common targets of investment fraud and scams. If you have an elderly loved one, make sure that you know the warning signs of senior investment scams –
- Mentions of a new financial advisor who is making promises or guarantees
- Giving complete control or even partial access of their financial accounts to someone else
- Making out checks directly to an individual claiming to be an investment advisor
- Lack of financial statements detailing investments
At Meyer Wilson, we represent investors who have suffered financial losses through investment fraud and misconduct. If you believe you or your loved one has lost money this way, we invite you to contact our law firm for a free review of your case today.