As the holiday season approaches, it is important to be on the lookout for identity theft and financial scams. Those most likely to be targeted are those who are age 50 and older. This demographic is believed to be the most vulnerable and an easy target for a number of reasons including their potential to have a large retirement savings, and an established credit history. The use of the internet and email have made accounts and personal information even more accessible to scammers.
Earlier this month, an Oklahoma court ordered a new arbitration hearing for an investor's claims against Geary Securities Inc. Steven Admire argued that the arbitration panel failed to provide him with an adequate award of damages. Mr. Admire claimed a total of $1.6 million in damages and the panel only awarded him $9,900. Mr. Admire and his attorney do not want to go back through the arbitration process, instead they want the claims resolved through the court system.
Success Trade Securities, Inc. and its founder, Fuad Ahmed, were barred from the securities industry by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a result of allegedly defrauding fifty-nine clients, many of which were pro athletes. FINRA also ordered the firm and Ahmed to pay $13.7 million in restitution to the investors. FINRA initiated its investigation in April 2013 when it became suspicious that Ahmed and his firm were operating a Ponzi scheme. Their suspicions caused them to file a complaint and a temporary cease and desist order to which Ahmed and the firm consented.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Claus Foerster, a former Raymond James advisor, for swindling about $3 million from clients through a Ponzi scheme. Foerster allegedly transferred funds from clients' brokerage accounts into a phantom income fund called "S.G. Investments." In reality, "S.G. Investments" was actually a bank account under Foerster's control which he used to pay personal expenses. FINRA believes that the scam began in 2000 and lasted up until June 2014. Foerster provided his clients with fabricated account statements and even paid monthly dividend payments on the fictitious fund to two of the clients.
According to the Daily Record, Tom Clancy's widow, Alexandra Llewellyn Clancy, is attempting to remove J.W. Thompson Webb, Clancy's estate attorney, as personal representative of Clancy's estate. Clancy's estate is valued at a $83 million, a majority of which is Clancy's 12-percent-stake in the Baltimore Orioles. Mrs. Clancy claims that Webb made mistakes in preparing Clancy's will and estate plan which have cost the estate approximately $6 million in taxes. However, under Maryland law, a beneficiary of an estate cannot sue the attorney who drafted the will. The suit must be brought by the personal representative of the estate. Since Webb is both the drafter of the will at issue and the personal representative, Mrs. Clancy must first have Webb removed as personal representative in order to sue him on behalf of her late husband's estate.