SEC and NASD are teaming up to crack down on fraudulent and unsuitable
securities sales that target senior citizens.
The regulatory bodies say in a joint statement that the initiative will include targeted examinations to detect abusive sales tactics aimed at seniors, aggressive enforcement of securities laws in cases of fraud against seniors and investor education and outreach.
The initiative builds upon a crackdown in Florida that was conducted by regulators in that state in conjunction with the SEC and NASD.
"Another American baby boomer will turn 60 every eight seconds for the next 20 years," says SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "As the nation's assets increasingly are held by older Americans, fraudsters can be expected to follow Willie Sutton's example and go where the money is. That's why the SEC's partnership with state regulators to safeguard the assets of older Americans is so important."
In Florida, Federal, state and NASD regulators have started on-site examinations of firms sponsoring "free lunch" investment seminars to ensure that sales practices are lawful, says Cox and NASD President Patricia D. Struck.
Similar oversight will be expanded to other states, they say.
SEC regional offices also will work closely with state and local law enforcement and federal and state regulatory agencies to exchange information to help identify, shut down and take action against investment scams targeting seniors, the officials say.
The SEC has a package of brochures, called the "Senior Care Package," at www.sec.gov. The NASD also has a senior citizen Investor Research Center at www.nasaa.org.