Watch out for scams targeting aging veterans. Unscrupulous financial advisors are recommending high commission investments to aging veterans as a way to gain eligibility for Veterans Administration benefits. According to the VA these schemes do not work. All the aging veteran is left with are unsuitable investments that have to be held for many years.
The fraudulent pitch to aging veterans
Unscrupulous financial advisors pitch unsuitable and illiquid investments to aging veterans as a way to qualify for VA pension benefits. The financial advisors tell the veterans in order to get the benefit, they need to “appear impoverished.” The financial advisors then recommend investments that convert the veterans’ assets into a “veteran-friendly estate plan.” The recommended investments pay high commissions to the financial advisor.
The damage to aging veterans
According to the VA, aging veterans who follow the advice of these unscrupulous financial advisors do not qualify for any VA benefit that they would not have already qualified for. You can see what the VA has to say about these schemes for qualifying here: https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/pensionpoachingpostcard.pdf The result is that aging veterans end up paying substantial commissions and fees for irrevocable trusts, annuities, or other investments that tie up their money so they cannot access it for many years.
If you think you may be a victim, you should contact an attorney experienced in recovering investment losses immediately. If you are in the Bay Area, you can also contact the San Francisco Veterans Benefits Protection Project, a not-for-profit organization that specializes in helping veterans in these circumstances.
Thanks to the Elder Law Prof Blog for its post on this issue, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/2AEcgwW
Lisa Bragança recovers losses for investors all over the country, protects whistleblowers, and defends individuals and businesses in government investigations. She is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the Public Investor Advocacy Bar Association (PIABA). Lisa has been a vocal advocate for the adoption of a uniform fiduciary standard for retirement accounts. As a Branch Chief with the SEC Division of Enforcement, Lisa supervised a wide range of investigations of investment fraud.
You can reach Lisa at (847) 906-3460 or BragancaLaw@gmail.com. You can follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaBraganca.