Elder abuse is a common crime, taking on many different forms, that preys on the older and more vulnerable population. Elder fraud, or elder financial exploitation, is a type of elder abuse that steadily increases each year, with losses totaling over $148 billion annually. In an effort to limit the number of seniors affected by fraud and lessen the damages, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act of 2021.
The ‘Financial Exploitation Prevention Act of 2021’ is an amendment to the ‘Investment Company Act of 1940,’ which regulates how securities and investment funds are distributed and redeemed. It is the leading source for the handling of mutual funds and closed-end funds. Currently, no laws allow investment firms to delay a transaction to confirm its validity, giving rise to criminals taking advantage of the elderly.
Why is it Important?
In cases involving elder fraud, the victim’s funds are usually withdrawn urgently and without notice. The passing of this bill would allow investment companies to pause transactions they believe to be financial exploitation cases for up to 15 business days. This gives companies time to validate the request, verify contact information and identify any legal guardians or representatives.
Under the bill, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be required to report to Congress their recommendations for legislative and regulatory changes to prevent financial exploitation and protect vulnerable elders. Doing so would lead to more in-depth reporting on the prevalence of elder abuse, further assisting in preventing elder fraud and improving safeguards to protect victims.
Actions in Congress
After being introduced by Rep. Wagner in March of 2021, the bill has slowly made progress as it passed through the House. On October 26th, 2021, the bill was received by the Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, where it remains. Although the Senate has yet to review, the bipartisan support through the House of Representatives gives hope.
Take Action Today
With an estimated 7.86 million elder fraud cases occurring annually, we want to ensure you and your loved ones receive the justice you deserve. The lawyers at Obenshain Law Group take pride in providing you with professional, honest and transparent representation. With nearly 40 years of legal experience, our team has what it takes to lead you through the entire legal process and win your deserved compensation.
Call our office today at (540) 318-7360 or visit our website to fill outa free consultation.