FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Announces Final Settlement with UBS over Improper Sales to Senior Investors
Jefferson City, MO – Officials in the Securities Division of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s Office entered into a final settlement with UBS Financial Services, Inc., for its failure to supervise an agent who made unsuitable recommendations to three Missouri seniors and to a mentally disabled adult.
From 2002 to early 2005, Robert T. Anderson, a UBS broker, misrepresented the net worth and annual income of senior investors to place them in variable annuities and mutual funds that generated commissions and sales credits for him. However, these investments were not appropriate for the customers’ financial situations.
Additionally, Anderson wrongly completed account forms to show that a mentally disabled adult was a homemaker who had invested for 25 years. When, in fact, the investor had never lived apart from her parents, worked part-time at a fast food restaurant, and had little understanding of the trading that had occurred in her account.
“Missourians should feel confident that my office will stop those who prey on seniors and people with disabilities,” said Carnahan. “I am pleased that these investors will get their money back. It is important for all investors to ask questions about their investments and report suspicious activity so action can be taken.”
UBS agreed to pay over $62,000 in restitution to these investors and six others. In addition, UBS will pay $80,000 to the Missouri Investor Education and Protection Fund, $20,000 in penalties and over $7,000 in costs.
In a separate order issued in September, Anderson was censured, prohibited from selling certain products for a period of five years and ordered to turn over $8,000 in commissions that will be repaid to investors.
Cases like this show the need for stiffer punishments against those who target seniors and disabled investors. In fact, the recently passed “Senior Investor Protection Act,” which was championed by Secretary Carnahan, will help further crackdown on this problem. The act creates a minimum statutory penalty for criminal securities fraud committed against senior or disabled individuals. The act also allows for mandatory restitution payments.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, visit the Secretary of State’s online Missouri Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.
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