$3.8M Colorado Securities Scam Defrauded Over 40 Elderly Seniors

The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Gary C. Snisky with defrauding over 40 senior investors in a $3.8 million Colorado securities scheme. The regulator contends that Snisky, who describes himself as an institutional trader, used insurance agents to sell interests in Arete LLC, which was supposedly more profitable and safer than annuities. He is accused of targeting mainly retired annuity holders, many of whom live in in the state.

According to the SEC, investors were told that their money would go toward buying government-backed agency bonds at discount rates and that the bonds would be used in overnight banking sweeps. Instead, Snisky misappropriated about $2.8 million of investor money to pay for his mortgage and pay sales folk their commissions.

Snisky is accused of bringing in experienced insurance salespersons who could source their existing client base of annuity holders and get them to invest in Arete. He described Arete as an “annuity plus” investment that investors could take principal from and earn interest without penalty (even after a decade) while still benefitting from guaranteed annual returns of up to 7%. The SEC says that the purported institutional trader stressed that the investments were safe and claimed he could get agency bonds backed by the government at a reduced rate and without paying fees for middlemen. He also allegedly drafted documents that salespeople used as offering materials to attract investors, showed the staff fake investor account statements to make it appear as if there were actual earnings, and organized seminars where he met with salespeople and investors.

Elder Financial Fraud
Elderly seniors are a favorite target of financial scammers who looking for investors with substantial nest eggs. Not only do many of them typically have retirement funds and other savings, but also health problems or mental issues can make it easy for fraudsters to bilk such older investors, who can be very trusting. Our elder financial fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP are here to handle annuity fraud claims and other securities cases against unscrupulous brokers, insurers, broker-dealers, and others.

SEC Charges Colorado Man in Scheme Targeting Elderly Investors
, SEC, November 21, 2013

Fraud Target: Senior Citizens, FBI

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