It's being described by securities regulators and prosecutors as a nationwide surge in investment fraud against folks in their 50s and 60s. From the WSJ:
Last year, there were 1,241 criminal complaints, cease-and-desist orders and other regulatory actions launched at the state level involving investors age 50 or older, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association, a group of state regulators. That was more than double the 506 cases in 2009.
But why? Blame their recession-related market losses.
Many of their retirement portfolios were ravaged by the financial crisis, erasing billions of dollars in assets. Despite a steep rebound since March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 15% from its peak in October 2007, causing many baby boomers on the cusp of retirement to stretch for higher returns. That makes those investors especially vulnerable to fraud, securities regulators and prosecutors contend.