The former broker reportedly never disclosed a real estate venture that was worth $1 million
James Randall Clay was notified by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in October of last year that he was the respondent in a complaint. The allegations against him involve an elderly client, a large real estate deal, and a possible misappropriation of funds.
The events that led to the complaint began when Clay allegedly decided to buy 49 rental properties for $1 million from a client of his firm, who at the time was 86 years old. The client reportedly also agreed to finance Clay’s purchase and give him a loan for $500,000 to make repairs and upgrades to the properties.
Without telling his member firm about his actions, Clay reportedly created a company and began collecting rent from tenants, which he deposited in his personal bank account. Clay also allegedly liquidated almost $500,000 worth of securities in his elderly client’s account to fund the loan he had been given.
Clay never received the loan, however, because the client’s son found out what was happening and made a complaint to the firm about Clay’s acquisition of the properties. When Clay’s firm investigated, the complaint alleges, he lied to a supervisor, saying that he wasn’t involved in any outside business activity. Clay reportedly claimed that it was his sister who was buying the properties and he was only facilitating the purchase. Clay repeated this to FINRA in both written responses and recorded interviews. His firm at the time – U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. – discharged him after these allegations were brought to light.
In addition to U.S. Bancorp, Clay worked for two other firms in his seven-year career, all in Clarksville, TN: Edward Jones and CUSO Financial Services, L.P. Currently, Clay is not a registered broker. More information about him and the pending FINRA complaint can be found in his BrokerCheck report.
The growth of elder financial fraud
The allegations against Clay, unfortunately, are not uncommon. Unscrupulous financial brokers and advisors prey on elderly clients for a couple of different reasons. First, often they can be a little too trusting and may automatically assume someone has their best interests in mind. Also, in some instances, an older person may lack the ability to fully understand or consent to a transaction.
The other unfortunate aspect of this type of elder abuse is that it regularly goes unreported. The victim or their family may not feel like there’s anything they can do. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to take action. Through FINRA arbitration, you may be able to reclaim lost funds if the loss is due to a violation of financial industry regulations. To find out how an elder financial fraud attorney can help you, get in touch with the Silver Law Group. We’ll discuss the arbitration process and give you all the information you need. Call our office toll-free at 800-975-4345 or contact us through our online form.