Mormon seniors reportedly victimized in San Diego investment scam, Ohio broker admits guilt in theft of more than 500k from senior client, and Oklahoma begins educational initiative
Throughout the U.S., seniors are experiencing perhaps a higher prevalence of fraud than ever before– and scammers are getting increasingly inventive in the ways in which they target elderly victims. From claims of fake prize money, to financial advisor fraud and investment scammers targeting elderly churchgoers, no seniors are truly safe from fraud unless they educate themselves about major scams and significantly increase their financial literacy. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest elder fraud news from around the country.
Oklahoma increases senior education efforts in an attempt to equip the elderly with fraud-fighting tools
The Oklahoma Insurance Department is planning a series of Senior Fraud Conferences across the state this summer in an attempt to help seniors protect themselves against elder fraud. Officials note that many seniors are targeted because they have large nest eggs, were born in a “more trusting time,” and may be suffering from cognitive decline. Elder fraud isn’t cheap; the average scammer takes $30,000 from a victim. In addition to financial investment scams, Medicare scams can also be a serious concern for seniors. In some cases, fraudsters may use a victim’s Medicare benefits, which could deprive them of their ability to get medical care and retain their insurance coverage in an emergency.
San Diego investment scam targeting senior Mormons may have relieved victims of close to $100 million
In San Diego, prosecutors are seeking out individuals who may have been victims of a massive investment scam. Jacob Keith Cooper, Douglas David Shoemaker, and Nathan Phillip McNamee, executives of Total Wealth Management, have been charged with conspiracy, elder theft, and securities fraud over a series of investment scams that allegedly concealed revenue sharing and may have relieved victims of a significant amount of the over $100 million that the firm managed. In particular, the individuals are alleged to have targeted elderly members of the Mormon church, and may have also recruited investors through a radio show, Uncommon Wealth, hosted by Cooper, owner of Total Wealth Management.
Ohio broker pleads guilty to stealing more than $550,000 from elderly client
Jon Schmidhammer, a former Ohio financial advisor, recently pled guilty to a count of unlawful securities practices, for which he could face nearly a decade in prison. After stealing a reported $554,000 from an 81-year old victim, the former advisor was arrested after an investigation by Upper Arlington police. Investigators reported that Schmidhammer forced the victim to sign blank checks over an 18-month period, which he then used to pay bills and a variety a family expenses. A judge has ordered Schmidhammer to pay restitution to the victim as he awaits sentencing.
Senior scams remain a persistent threat to tens of millions of Americans
Elder financial fraud remains a persistent threat to tens of millions of Americans. To protect yourself and the ones you love, make sure all elderly family members know about basic investment scams, thoroughly research brokers and financial advisors before hiring them, and avoid giving out personal financial information as much as possible.
The attorneys at Silver Law Group are leaders in the field of securities arbitration and elder financial fraud committed by unethical brokers and financial advisors. We represent individual and institutional investors across the United States who have lost money at the hands of a trusted financial advisor. Our services are provided on a contingency-fee basis, which means we are only compensated if there is a recovery of losses. Contact us for a complimentary consultation about your situation.