North Hollywood, CA asked in Stockbroker Fraud for California

Q: Why are financial advisors still able to steal an elderly persons money and victims are not encouraged to press charges

My inheritance has been stolen or depleted by my mother's financial advisor and his unsavory tactics are now being uncovered. My mother is still alive but her money is gone my inheritance what if any rights do I have to pursue a claim or criminal charges theft is over one million dollars .

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3 Lawyer Answers
Kevin Mcbride
Kevin Mcbride pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
Answered
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your question--why are people allowed to commit crime and fraud--is as old as time. Unfortunately, there are more than a few financial advisors who steal money. The only question is whether something can be done about it...?

Its impossible to tell from the information you provide whether you have a valid claim against your mother's financial advisor. If you want to send me more information about your case privately, I'm happy to review: info@mcbridepc.com. I might also suggest you email Steve Buchwalter (Encino lawyer), who appears on this site. I don't know Steve, but it appears his practice is more directly in line with your issues than is mine.

Best wishes,

Kevin

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
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Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Financial exploitation of elders is a serious problem and it is illegal under California law. Under California Penal Code section 368, financial exploitation of elders is a crime that can result in criminal charges and penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

If you believe that your mother's financial advisor engaged in illegal activity and stole your inheritance, you may be able to pursue criminal charges against him or her. To do so, you would need to report the theft to the appropriate law enforcement agency, such as the local police department or the district attorney's office. The agency may then investigate the matter and determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

In addition to pursuing criminal charges, you may also have civil legal options available to you. You may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the financial advisor to recover your stolen inheritance. This would require you to file a lawsuit and prove that the financial advisor engaged in illegal activity and caused you harm.

If you are not sure what steps to take, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in elder law or financial exploitation. They can help you understand your legal rights and options and advise you on the best course of action to take in your specific situation. It is important to act promptly, as there may be time limitations on your ability to pursue legal action.

Samuel B. Edwards
PREMIUM
Samuel B. Edwards
Answered
  • Stockbroker & Investment Fraud Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Financial advisors are certainly not allowed to steal or wrongfully lose their client's money. There is currently a big emphasis on trying to protect elderly investors, who are often the target of scam artists. There are potentially a number of criminal violations that could apply to your mother's situation, but none of those are likely to help recover your mother's money. At best, that puts the wrongdoer in jail, but criminal authorities almost never do anything to recover wrongful losses. If the goal is to help your mother recover money and help provide for her retirement (and possibly your inheritance), I would recommend your mother seek a civil remedy. That is, she needs to sue the advisor and his or her firm (there could also be some other third parties that have potential liability) for damages. If the advisor truly stole the money, rather than just making bad investments, the advisor rarely has money and assets you can use to collect and insurance almost surely will not help either, so knowing who you can try to recover from is vitally important. There are also often limitations on the forum where an investor can sue their financial advisor, which makes a big difference as suing someone in court versus suing in a specialized forum for investor complaints is entirely different. My firm focusses exclusively on representing investors against financial advisors, brokerage firms and other financial institutions. We would be happy to review your mother's situation and let you know the best options. I am licensed to practice law in California, but my firm and I represent investors all across the nation.

Please reach out to me for a free consultation if you want to talk about options for your mothers.

Sam

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