Published On: September 25, 2015

According to the North American Securities Administrators Association, investigations and enforcement actions performed by state securities regulators in 2014 resulted in $405 million in restitution to investors, many of them elderly, and $174 million in fines and prison sentences of 1,629 years. One quarter of the enforcement actions taken in 2014 were frauds targeting seniors. The NASAA believes that number to be lower than in actuality, as elderly victims sometimes never report occurrences of fraudulent activity. A majority of the frauds were by unregistered individuals selling unregistered securities. Of the 746 reported cases, 484 involved unregistered securities and 675 actions involved unregistered firms or individuals. The top schemes involved in the investigations were ponzi schemes, small private placement offerings, real estate investments including promissory notes, internet fraud including social media and crowdfunding and oil and gas offerings. 2,857 securities licenses were withdrawn and 728 licenses were denied, revoked, suspended or conditioned.

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