SEC Filed Partial Settlement in Charges Former Broker-Dealer Representative in Florida Who Stands Accused of Defrauding Senior Citizen Investors
On July 12th, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a partial settlement in a senior citizen investment fraud case. A former registered representative of a broker-dealer in Florida—Joseph Michael Todd of Panama City—stands accused of using two separate entities (Todd Financial Services, LLC and TFS Insurance Services LLC) to defraud vulnerable investors. Within this article, our Miami elder financial fraud attorney discusses the allegations raised in this case.
Partial Settlement: Elder Financial Fraud Scheme in Florida
The SEC filed a complaint against Joseph Michael Todd in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Mr. Todd is accused of using his companies to bilk approximately two dozen senior citizen investors out of nearly $3 million. Mr. Todd is a previously registered investment adviser (RIA). From 2016 to 2022, Mr. Todd was associated with Centaurus Financial Inc. in Crystal River, Florida.
Mr. Todd allegedly took customer funds under the pretense of investing them in securities. However, the funds were instead used for his personal expenditures—including things like real estate and entertainment. In order to sustain his fraudulent activities, Mr. Tood reportedly gave customers falsified account statements showing non-existent investments. Many victims were elderly or disabled. Notably, Mr. Todd is accused of making Ponzi-like payments using other clients’ money, misleadingly representing them as returns on investments.
A Partial, Preliminary Settlement has Been Reached
To settle the charges, the SEC has reached a partial and preliminary agreement with former Florida investment representative Joseph Michael Todd and his companies. Among other things, the settlement includes an officer director bar, disgorgement of ill-gotten gain, and payment of a yet unspecified amount of fines and penalties.
Elderly Investors are Vulnerable
Unfortunately, elderly investors are often seen as vulnerable targets for fraudsters. Here are some of the most common reasons why senior investors in Florida faces higher risks:
- Life Savings: Seniors, having worked most of their lives, have significant savings that can be an attractive target for fraudsters. Sadly, this makes them targets.
- Trust: Elderly individuals tend to be more trusting, which can make them susceptible to fraudsters who portray themselves as trustworthy advisers.
- Limited Financial Knowledge: Lack of financial literacy—especially concerning modern investment options—can make seniors easy targets for scammers who take advantage of this knowledge gap.
- Cognitive Decline: Aging is often associated with cognitive decline, making it harder for seniors to detect scams or fraudulent activities. Vulnerable investors face high risks.
Contact Our Florida Senior Citizen investment Fraud Lawyer Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida senior citizen investment protection lawyers are committed to helping clients secure the best possible outcome. If you or your loved one suffered losses due to securities fraud, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a fully confidential, no obligation initial legal consultation. We fight for the rights of senior citizen investors and other vulnerable investors in Miami and throughout all of Florida.