FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 28, 2008
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Cracks Down on “Senior Advisor” Preying on Elderly Missourian
Jefferson City, Missouri — Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office issued a Cease and Desist Order against “Certified Senior Advisor” Terry W. Simpkins, of Lake Sherwood, Mo., for giving inappropriate investment advice to an elderly woman who has since been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Simpkins, who is not registered to sell securities or offer investment advice, allegedly recommended that a 75-year-old from Columbia, Mo., move her money out of bank accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and mutual funds and into annuities. One of those annuities was an equity indexed annuity that locked up her money for 15 years, had sizable surrender penalties for taking the money out early and paid large commissions to Simpkins.
Simpkins, who is affiliated with the firm Wealth Protection Advisors, uses the title “Certified Senior Advisor.” Titles like this imply special knowledge or training in senior investment issues, but often the only training a “senior specialist” has is on how to sell to seniors. Secretary Carnahan’s office recently filed a rule that would crackdown on people who improperly use these “senior specialist” titles.
“It’s important to remember that just because someone claims a professional sounding designation, that doesn’t mean they are highly qualified professionals looking out for your best interest,” said Carnahan. “Many of these designations prove only that the individual knows how to use marketing techniques to prey on seniors.”
Simpkins allegedly recommended the equity indexed annuity even though he knew his client may need ready access to her funds for medical purposes. As a result, the Missouri resident had to pay over $12,000 in surrender fees when she needed her money to move into an assisted living facility.
The woman’s daughter stated that her mother suffered from arthritis, diabetes and heart arrhythmia and was often confused and forgetful about financial matters. The elderly investor has subsequently been diagnosed as suffering from a series of strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Simpkins has thirty days to respond to the order and request a hearing.
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