NASAA Applauds Sen. Herb Kohl’s Leadership in the Ongoing Fight Against Senior Investment Fraud

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2009—The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today announced its strong support for the “Senior Investment Protection Act of 2009” (S. 906), legislation designed to protect senior investors from unscrupulous and unqualified financial advisers.

Introduced by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), this important legislation takes aim at the misleading use of senior and retiree designations, a problem first identified by state securities regulators and the subject of a NASAA model rule adopted by 14 jurisdictions and pending in 5 additional jurisdictions.

“State securities regulators appreciate the longstanding and dedicated efforts of Sen. Herb Kohl to protect senior investors,” said NASAA President and Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph. “The use of misleading senior designations that imply expertise in the financial needs of seniors often results in unsuitable investments being sold to unsuspecting seniors. In many cases, these ‘experts’ are little more than salesmen with little or no expertise in the specific needs of their individual clients or an understanding of the products they are selling.”

The “Senior Investment Protection Act of 2009” would provide grants to states to enhance the protection of seniors from being misled by false designations. The grants would be available to states to support a wide variety of senior investor protection efforts, whether by hiring additional staff to investigate and prosecute senior-related cases; funding new technology, equipment and training for regulators, prosecutors and law enforcement in order to identify salespersons and advisers who target seniors through the use of misleading designations; or providing educational materials to increase awareness and understanding of designations.

“This significant legislation would provide states with much needed resources to protect seniors from being harmed by those who place their interests in generating sales commissions ahead of the best interests of senior investors,” Joseph said.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA’s membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications