Federal legislation introduced to increase penalties for securities fraud.

August 1, 2008

Federal legislation introduced to increase penalties for securities fraud

When it comes to investing, older doesn't necessarily mean wiser. In recent years, unscrupulous financial advisers have taken advantage of some seniors' lack of investment acumen to bilk them out of their life savings. Now, legislators are stepping in to help prevent this fraud. The Senior Investor Protections Enhancement Act, a bill introduced on June 27 by U.S. Senators Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA) and Herbert H. Kohl (R-WI), would increase the penalties levied against any financial adviser found guilty of securities fraud against a senior by as much as $50,000 for each violation. "Many seniors are discovering that their life savings may not be enough to last them throughout their retirement," says Kohl. "As they turn to investments to bridge the gap, seniors need to know that they can trust the people who handle their money." According to a statement on Casey's website, Americans over the age of 65 control roughly $15 trillion in assets, a large portion of which are investable.