Oklahoma Financial Elder Abuse Attorney
Oklahoma, the Sooner State, offers baby boomers and seniors a rich landscape of scenic lakes and mountains that are ideal for retirement community living. Seniors have many investment choices when it comes to growing their nest egg for retirement living, but unfortunately some retirement plans go off the rails when seniors find themselves victimized by investment frauds or bad financial advice. As a group, seniors are particularly vulnerable or taken advantage of by scammers or unscrupulous financial advisers. Finding the right advocate to recover lost investment funds is critical to getting your retirement back on track. Malecki Law is a national financial elder abuse law firm in New York that has recovered tens of millions of dollars for senior investors who have lost their retirement funds through fraud or negligent mismanagement, and no fault of their own. The firm’s founder, Jenice L. Malecki, is a financial elder abuse attorney who, for over 30 years, has been an industry leader that has fought and advocated for seniors taken advantage of by wrongdoers and an unsympathetic financial industry.
Oklahoma also happens to be the state where the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA) is headquartered, and where Ms. Malecki has been heavily involved in her advocacy for senior victims of financial fraud. PIABA is a pro-investor, non-profit bar association whose members represent investors in litigation disputes with the securities industry. Ms. Malecki was a Vice President on the Board of Directors of the PIABA Foundation, an investor educational non-profit group with a mission to educate investors and provide the public with information about abuses in the financial services industry and the securities dispute resolution process. She has also been a featured speaker many times at PIABA's annual year-end conferences and numerous other industry events.
The Oklahoma Department of Securities has recognized senior vulnerability to investment fraud and has published a series of warnings and red flag considerations for retiree and senior investors, noting that one out of every five people over the age of 65 have already been victimized by financial fraud, and that the population of older adults vulnerable to fraud is growing. The Oklahoma regulator lists a number of tips for seniors to stay protected from fraud and when making investment decisions:
- Don’t let your manners get in the way of your decision making: You have the right to ask questions including what benefits the seller is receiving.
- Always stay in charge of your money: Make sure you understand the investment to include when you will have access to the funds invested. Review all of your statements and ask questions.
- Watch out for salespeople who prey on your fears: An investment may be right for you when you understand its terms and conditions, the risks involved, and your goals and needs are satisfied.
- Monitor your investments and ask tough questions: Receive and review all documentation regarding the status of your account and all transactions. Review for excessive trading, unauthorized transactions, and excessive fees that could be signs of potential fraud in your account.
- Check out strangers touting “strange deals.”: It is important to understand the investment before you buy. Remember you can contact the Oklahoma Department of Securities.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover: Verify the terms of the investment.
- Don’t make a personal tragedy worse with rash financial decisions: Get all the facts before you make any financial decisions.
- Don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from reporting investment fraud or abuse: Every day you delay reporting fraud or abuse is one more day that the fraudster is spending your money and finding new victims.
Keep in mind that it may be even more beneficial to first consult with a legal professional ahead of making a public report to a regulator. While a regulator is there to help you, filing a report with that may contain premature statements about the fraud could work against you if you do not yet have all the facts.
Moreover, there are many instances where regulatory investigations into fraud hit a dead end, accordingly, making it an insufficient avenue for investors to be made financially whole. For this reason, victims of fraud or bad financial advice should consider hiring a financial elder abuse lawyer to bring a parallel civil suit to maximize the return of lost funds. Choosing experienced legal advocates, such as the financial elder abuse lawyers at Malecki Law, can make all the difference, whether the losses are a result of fraud, misrepresentations or omissions about an investment recommended, general negligence, or a firm’s supervisory failure to protect the assets custodian in the account.
One reason regulatory enforcement actions alone are insufficient to making victims whole is that regulators usually seek documents and cooperation from investor victims to assist the broader investigation, but regulators do not typically return the favor by sharing such evidence regarding other investors who may have suffered similar losses. This is important because a critical component of proving a fraud is to show that others were defrauded too. This makes it less likely that a trier of fact (e.g., a court or arbitration panel) will resort to blaming a lone victim. Regulatory investigations also often fail to recoup the full amount lost because they do not always seek to prosecute the full time period of the violations that occurred, meaning victims who are expecting full restitution may only receive a small fraction of their losses, even after years of investigation.
In FINRA arbitration, where most retail securities disputes are heard and litigated, investors can expect their cases to be resolved within 12 to 15 months depending on the availability of arbitrators and the parties’ counsel. Elderly and disabled investors may also qualify for expedited proceedings, which can bring a resolution several months faster. This is far faster than what investors can expect from a regulatory proceeding, which in some cases may never reach a conclusion owing to budget constraints, change of elected administrations, or any other shifts in regulatory priorities. The financial elder abuse attorneys at Malecki Law recognize that regulatory investigations are opaque in nature, in which investors are accordingly given very little understanding of the status of their case or a timeline to possible restitution.
For these reasons and others, it is critical for Oklahoma retirees who have been victimized in the financial markets to additionally seek competent counsel in the securities arena. Jenice L. Malecki is a relentless retiree advocate and financial elder abuse attorney who will aggressively prosecute a parallel civil lawsuit against the wrongdoers or financial institutions involved. If you are an Oklahoma resident, senior, or retiree who has lost money in the financial markets and would like a free consultation about whether your account was properly supervised, contact a financial elder abuse law firm like Malecki Law for a free consultation. You can call or email Jenice Malecki directly at (212) 943-1233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.