The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 22, 2013

Scam elderly, face $150G fine

Casey bill increases penalty by 50%

SUNBURY — As criminals continue to target seniors for financial scams, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has introduced legislation that would stiffen penalties for fraud against the elderly.

“Seniors are particularly vulnerable to financial scams so it’s vital that the federal government take steps to protect them,” Casey said introducing the The Senior Investor Protections Enhancement Act on June 18.

“This legislation will provide a strong deterrent to would-be scammers who would prey upon seniors,” he said. “Seniors represent a disproportionate amount of all fraud cases and the cost of these crimes has been trending upward. What’s needed are strong laws that make the consequences of these financial scams daunting.”

Americans over the age of 65 control an estimated $18 trillion in assets, a large portion of which is investable. Seniors have difficult and complicated decisions to make on how to stretch their savings throughout their retirement.

In making these financial decisions, seniors are often targeted with scams. Despite making up only 14 percent of the nation’s population, seniors — according to the Federal Trade Commission — accounted for 26 percent of reported fraud in 2012.

The cost of this financial fraud is significant. Casey referred to a 2011 study by MetLife that estimated the losses from financial elder abuse at more than $2.9 billion, a 12 percent increase over a previous estimate MetLife did in 2008.

As the number of seniors grows significantly over the next few decades, the problem isn’t going to go away. In fact, it’s expected to get far worse. Today, there are 43 million Americans aged 65 and over — that’s one in seven Americans.

The Senior Investor Protections Enhancement Act of 2013 would amend several federal laws including the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

Under the bill, the maximum civil penalties for violations that are primarily directed toward or committed against a senior (age 62 or older) would be increased. The bill would increase the maximum civil penalty for violations against seniors by $50,000. Current fines range from $5,000 to $100,000 for individuals and $100,000 to $550,000 for businesses.

The bill also directs the United States Sentencing Commission to review and amend federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements to ensure that guideline offense levels and enhancements appropriately punish criminal violations of the securities laws against seniors.

Casey said he would work toward bipartisan support of the bill in the upcoming months.

Text Only
  • Baby, 3 others hurt in Route 11 crash near Danville

    DANVILLE — Two women, an infant and the baby’s 2-year-old girl sister were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a three-vehicle chain-reaction accident at 3:14 p.m. Friday on Route 11 near Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center in Mahoning Township.

    July 26, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Cameron to spend $12,000 to find new chief

    LEWISBURG — The William Cameron Engine Company will pay a State College consulting firm more than $12,000 to help the Lewisburg fire house find its first paid chief after its first national search to fill the job ended without a new leader.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ann Targonski DA clears officer in Sunbury shooting

    SUNBURY — Three shots from a Taser could not stop 390-pound Erick Trometter from attacking Sunbury’s then-acting Police Chief Brad Hare with a large filet knife, so the veteran officer drew his gun and shot the 22-year-old city man in the leg, according to a report issued Friday.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • stauffer25br.jpg Area cyclist pedals 4,233 miles in 21 days for race

    Growing up in a Mennonite family, Jesse Stauffer often traveled the roads in Snyder County on a bicycle.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.