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Advocacy in action blog

Thousands of seniors and other vulnerable adults in this country each year fall victim to financial exploitation, often losing their entire life savings to unscrupulous people.  NAIFA-New Jersey has helped enact a law to protect this defenseless group from exploitation.  This legislation, A-5091 (McKeon), was signed into law by Governor Murphy on January 13, 2020.

“NAIFA-NJ members work hard to protect their clients,” said NAIFA-NJ President Corrado Gugliotta.  “A law such as this is one more tool the professional members of NAIFA-NJ will have to keep older adults safe.”

Under this bill, a qualified individual who reasonably believes that financial exploitation of an eligible adult has occurred would be required to notify the Bureau of Securities as well as any applicable county adult protective services provider.  A “qualified individual” is any agent, investment adviser representative or other person that serves in a supervisory, compliance, or legal capacity for a broker-dealer or investment advisor.

"Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for senior citizens to be taken advantage of by people seeking to take their money, property, assets or identities," said Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) in a statement. "These crimes often go unreported and untracked. The good news is financial exploitation can be prevented with the right protections in place."

Furthermore, the broker-dealer or investment advisor may delay disbursement from an eligible adults account if it may result in financial exploitation.  In so doing, the broker-dealer or investment advisor would be immune from any administrative or civil liability.