Friday, August 28, 2015
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Wednesday, 7/3/2013

Senior moment

Scammers who prey on trusting investors are loathsome. A bill before the U.S. Senate aims to make them pay.

The penalties for perpetrating financial fraud now range from $5,000 to $100,000 for individual offenders and $50,000 to $500,000 for businesses. The Senate bill would add civil fines of $55,000 to $150,000 for individuals and $100,000 to $550,000 for businesses that defraud victims who are 62 or older.

Elderly people might appear to deserve more protection against financial crimes. Their higher rates of mental, physical, and cognitive impairment make them more vulnerable to being bilked out of their money.

But the consequences of such crimes are the same for victims who are 61 or younger. Some young potential victims could be hurt harder by such losses than their elderly peers. Despite the bill’s good intentions, it would create a special class of victim, which seems unfair.

The Senate has considered similar bills twice before, but they’ve failed to draw bipartisan support. There may be a reason for that. The nation’s laws should be geared to crack down on crooks who target all investors, young and old.

Recommended for You

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories