Elder Abuse

I liked the article late last week by Margie Manning on the Tampa Bay Business Journal re: the (admitted) fraudster and Registered Investment Adviser Gingesh Movalia.
A few things popped out at me.
One is that Movalia pleading guilty and agreeing to pay back less than $2mm of the $9mm he defrauded.
This means that most of the investors will not get back near what they ‘invested’ in this scam and while Movalia’s company, OM Global Fund, went into receivership which should result in investors getting something back, much of the losses are won’t be recovered.
Another is that Florida does nto do enough to protect its investors, particularly the elderly.
Investor fraud of all types rampant in Florida (not to mention the US!) and we need to keep highlighting the dangers out there and trying to improve the protections for investors. There are way too many of my clients who have been taken by these scams and it is important to make the scam artists not only do the time but also, and perhaps more importantly, repay the investors as much as possible.
What can we do here in Florida?
Well, one thing is to contact your legislative representatives and tell them that it is time that stock brokers were held to a fiduciary duty with your hard earned investment income. Yes, I just wrote that stock brokers have no federally mandated fiduciary duty to you. Now, Florida case law does impose that duty but because each case is different it would be much better if we had it built into the statutes.
And while you are at it make sure to let the legislature know that you think it odd that the Florida Elder Abuse statutes protect you and/or your friends and relatives from financial exploitation – BUT IT DOES NOT COVER INVESTMENTS! Investments are one of the most common ways that our elderly population is exploited why is it not included in this powerful Florida elder protection law?

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