Scott Silver, managing partner of Silver Law Group, has sent letters to Florida’s U.S. Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, expressing support for, and asking the senators to support, the Edith Shorougian Senior Victims Of Fraud Compensation Act of 2020 (Edith’s Bill).
Edith’s Bill would provide a recovery pool for elderly investors who have been defrauded. Provisions in the bill would amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 so that seniors victimized by financial fraud would be eligible for reimbursement from the Crimes Victim Fund.
The legislation would help people who are over 60 years of age to get financial assistance from state Victim Compensation Programs. Currently, there is no similar financial assistance available to seniors.
Our letter asks for Florida’s Senators to support the full provisions of Edith’s Bill in the next COVID-19 relief package. Edith’s Bill is supported by Republicans and Democrats and the AARP.
Why Edith’s Bill Is Needed
Seniors usually have more wealth than younger Americans, so they are an appealing target for schemers. Many seniors have been sold a fund after being assured it was conservative and would preserve their principal, then found out it involved significant risk only after losing their money.
The letter sent to Senators and Rubio and Scott talks about the firsthand experience Scott Silver and Silver Law Group have dealing with senior victims of financial fraud and why the legislation in Edith’s Bill is needed:
“My firm and I routinely represent defrauded senior investors in south Florida and nationwide. Unfortunately, we frequently speak to investors whose money has been stolen by fraudsters who have no assets left to collect. In the recent past, we have been contacted by elderly investors who have lost life savings to unregistered financial advisors, one-person broker-dealers and uninsured insurance agents amongst others. Florida is home to a large retirement community and we unfortunately have many fraudsters in our midst who brazenly abuse our seniors robbing them of their money and their dignity.”
COVID-19 Reveals Elder Financial Fraud
The letter goes on to state that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the risk to elderly investors and exposed fraudsters. Since the pandemic began, the SEC has brought emergency enforcement actions alleging fraud and suspended trading in securities of dozens of issuers related to COVID-19.
Many alleged fraudsters and Ponzi schemes offer free meals to seniors and place high pressure on them to invest. One such recently alleged fraud that has affected many Florida seniors involves Par funding, Retirement Evolution Group, and agent John Gissas. In July, 2020 the SEC brought an emergency enforcement action against the alleged fraud.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Par Funding was a scheme to defraud investors with unregistered securities offerings. John Gissas of Retirement Evolution Group served as a seller of Par Funding and related deals. Many of John Gissas’s clients were seniors in The Villages, Florida retirement community and attended a seminar with a free meal.
Many seniors were promised high interest rates and invested hundreds of thousands or millions of their retirement savings into Par Funding and related companies. Now they can’t access their money. The SEC has appointed a receiver and frozen the assets of the alleged fraud in an effort to recover money for the victims.
Are You A Victim Of Elder Financial Fraud?
If you or someone you know has been a victim of financial fraud or abuse, contact the Silver Law Group at (800)-975-4345 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost confidential consultation. Our attorneys represent investors in Florida and nationwide. Scott Silver, Silver Law Group’s managing partner, is the co-chair of the Securities and Investment Fraud Group of the Aamerican Association of Justice.