Broker defrauds seniors out of nearly $1 million

The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Tennessee-based securities broker for defrauding two seniors, including a World War II-era veteran, of almost $1 million.

The US watchdog alleged that Frederick Stow acted as the veteran’s representative for over 30 years and inserted himself into the veteran’s personal and financial affairs. In October 2015, Stow began making sales of securities from the veteran’s individual retirement account without authorisation. He then transferred the profits to his own bank account on 74 occasions using falsified wire transfer forms.

The SEC also claims that a month after the veteran’s death in March 2019, Stow stole money from another senior by wiring money from the senior’s brokerage account to Stow’s own bank account without authorization. Stow stole approximately $933,500 in total from the seniors.

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Justin Jeffries, Associate Regional Director for the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office said:

Far too often, veterans and seniors who depend on their investments for retirement income are targeted by fraudulent schemes. As alleged in our complaint, Stow took advantage of these seniors, abusing his access to their brokerage accounts to generate income for himself.

The US regulator charged Stow in the US District Court with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The Commission is seeking injunctive relief, the return of allegedly ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and a civil penalty. In a parallel action, the US Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against Stow.

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