Protections for Elderly or Vulnerable People
In 2015 the Nevada legislature passed a law requiring broker dealers and investment advisors to identify and report cases of suspected exploitation of seniors and vulnerable people. NRS §90.614 et. seq. sets out a framework to assist broker dealers and investment advisors in detecting and preventing financial exploitation of seniors, as well as those with cognitive disorders that impair their ability to protect themselves.
Under the statutory scheme set forth in NRS §90.611 through NRS §90.6145. broker dealers and investment advisors have an affirmative duty to provide training to any employees who may come into contact with older or vulnerable persons. The training must be designed to detect, and provide a means of reporting suspected exploitation.
An older person is someone who is 60 years or older (NRS §§90.6125 and 200.5092).
A vulnerable person is someone who is 18 or older who suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation because of a developmental disability, organic brain damage or mental illness; or who has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the ability of the person to perform the normal activities of daily living. (NRS §§90.6135 and 200.5092).
The training is not limited to sales persons, but includes any employees who, as part of their regular duties, come into contact with older or vulnerable people, or who review or approve documents, records or transactions involving the offer, sale or purchase of securities or who offer investment advice to older or vulnerable people.
The training is required to be given within six months of hiring, and may be included as part of a continuing education program.
The training is also required to include an explanation of the conduct that would constitute exploitation, which is defined as any act taken by a person who has the trust, confidence, power of attorney or guardianship of an older or vulnerable person to:
- Obtain control, through deception, intimidation or undue influence, over the older person’s or vulnerable person’s money, assets or property with the intention of permanently depriving the older person or vulnerable person of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of his or her money, assets or property; or
- Convert money, assets or property of the older person or vulnerable person with the intention of permanently depriving the older person or vulnerable person of the ownership, use, benefit or possession of his or her money, assets or property.
The training is required to teach employees how to recognize examples of exploitation, how investigations into exploitation should be conducted, and how and when to report suspected cases of exploitation. The statutes also require a broker dealer or investment advisor to designate an individual whose job it is to receive reports of exploitation.
Once the designated individual receives a report or information, or through his own observation discovers a suspected case of exploitation, he or she is obligated to make a report, and contact local law enforcement or state offices, including a county office for protective services, the Dept. of Health or the Aging and Disability Services division.
Information provided to law enforcement or govt. agencies may include otherwise confidential financial information, as well as the name of the individual suspected of financial exploitation. The designated reporter and the employee are afforded immunity from liability in making the report provided such report is made in good faith.
The Law Office of David Liebrader has an established track record of results representing older and vulnerable people who have been financially exploited. Recently, in October, 2019 we received an award of $1.7 million on behalf of a client with Alzheimer’s Disease who suffered losses purchasing gold and silver bullion investments.
If you or someone you know has been financially exploited through high pressure sales tactics, theft, or through unsuitable investments, please call for a free, confidential consultation.