When dealing with wills, trusts, or any other form of estate planning, it is important to talk with an attorney about keeping investments secure. Many retirees in Florida want to set up trust accounts to help during their retirement or protect their families. It is important to get sound legal advice during this process to avoid fraud and other problems.

A news story out of Vero Beach, Florida shows how fraud and other kinds of crime can be used to illegally gain access to estate planning instruments and their sources of funding. 

Investment scheme lands a local broker in jail

A family member who was a beneficiary of the trust said that the suspect had violated his integrity. The criminal destroyed a relationship that had been built over the course of three decades. The victim said that he and his mother met the suspect when he was working for one of their cousins out of White Plains, New York. He eventually started serving clients in the Vero Beach area. 

The victim said that between meetings with his family and email exchanges, he had known the suspect for 30 years. He said that their dealings had always been professional and he trusted that their money was safe. The 64 year old male was awaiting trial in an Indian River County Jail cell in Florida at the time of the news report.

His first set of charges are related to scamming approximately $500,000 out of clients who believed they were investing money in a reality TV series that did not exist. The other charges are related to obtaining about $180,000 from the victim’s mother investments for the fraudulent Treasure Coast Capital and Trust that was owned and operated by the defendant. He had represented the company as a safe form of investment with a good return. There was a clean record of investments from the suspect and the firms he operated until that time, so no one had any reason to expect that money kept in trust accounts would be stolen.

One day, the victim’s mother attempted to call the defendant several times for her quarterly statement documents. After a few days, she was surprised to find that he was incarcerated. He had apparently also used excuses related to cancer treatment in the past to explain disappearances, but those turned out to be false.

The elderly victim was 85 years old, and she had been saving the money for the rest of her retirement or to be used in case of an emergency. The local assistant state attorney was moving to get the case tried as quickly as possible, due to the age of the victims. The suspect was scheduled to be tried for both fraudulent investment schemes at the same time. 

Learn more about secure investing

Speak with an estate planning attorney in the Vero Beach area today. Contact:

The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm

850 NW Federal Highway, #1004, Stuart, FL 34994

772-261-8556

www.etelf.com

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