“Mr. Chairman, there is no doubt financial fraud aimed at older Americans is real.”
This astounding statement was made at the SEC’s Senior Summit by Mary L. Schapiro, the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the regulatory body formed by the merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the regulatory arm of the New York Stock Exchange.
Ms. Schapiro backed her statement with the results of a recent FINRA survey which found that, of the 55 percent of respondents who said they lost money on an investment, 19 percent-almost one in five-attribute that loss to being misled or defrauded. While this is cause for concern, she added, it’s also an opportunity for creative collaboration by regulators.
With the financial well-being of millions of seniors at stake, she added, FINRA is dedicated to tackling this issue on multiple fronts. As I speak to you today, FINRA, in addition to participating in the “free lunch seminar” sweep, is conducting sweeps in four separate issue areas.
However, Ms. Schapiro and the other regulators must recognize their limitations. There are simply not enough “securities police” to oversee trillions in investments being sold to millions of investors by hundreds of thousands of salespersons at thousands of firms. Only a fraction of violations are found resulting in almost meaningless fines compared to profits being made. In short: Investment crime pays!
Thus, millions of retirees have collectively lost billions of dollars because of investment fraud. And, despite tough talk by regulators, the problem grows worse on a daily basis. Yet, rather than rely on their government to protect them, seniors must take action themselves! The best solution is to contact an attorney who specializes in investment fraud to go after those who have defrauded them and seek recovery of their losses.
Shepherd Smith and Edwards represents investors nationwide in claims against members of the securities industry. We have represented investors in more than 1,000 securities cases. To learn whether we are able to assist you with a claim contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.