Securities News Releases
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573)526-0949
Contact: Abe Rakov, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan’s Office Suspends Moberly Broker for Taking Life Savings of Elderly Investor
Jefferson City, Missouri – Officials in Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office today suspended the license of Moberly-area broker Craig McClaskey for alleged securities laws violations after receiving information regarding his mishandling of an 85 year-old woman’s life savings. Investors who have used McClaskey’s services and have concerns about their investments should call the Missouri Investor Protection Hotline at (800) 721-7996.
According to the summary suspension order issued today, McClaskey moved $52,000 of the investor’s savings into a Florida real estate investment which named McClaskey as a co-owner. The order also states that McClaskey changed several of the woman’s investments to designate McClaskey’s or his wife as the beneficiary. McClaskey is also alleged to have entered into an agreement to purchase his client’s home for one dollar.
“It is unacceptable for financial professionals to take advantage of their clients, and I will not tolerate this behavior in Missouri,” Carnahan said. “My office will work quickly to help any investor recover their losses and ensure that brokers answer for their dishonest actions. I will continue to stand up for Missouri seniors and crack down on anyone who attempts to prey on their life savings.”
This case may lead to steep penalties under Carnahan’s Senior Investor Protection Act, a new law that became effective in August. One of the toughest laws in the country protecting seniors from fraud, the Act imposes a minimum criminal penalty of $50,000 and an additional civil penalty of up to $5,000 for fraudulent acts committed against senior or disabled investors. The Act also contains provisions which may make it easier for an investor to recover lost savings.
Today’s order sets a preliminary hearing on this matter for December 4. The summary suspension prohibits McClaskey, who has been a registered broker with Edward Jones since May 2001, from engaging in any broker activities in the state. Carnahan’s office will continue its investigation into McClaskey’s activities and seek all appropriate further action, which may include a permanent bar from the securities industry.
Carnahan’s office has also referred the matter to county and state law enforcement officials. Edward Jones was not named in the order issued today.
Investors with questions or concerns about their investments in Moberly, Randolph County or elsewhere in the state should call the Missouri Investor Protection Hotline toll-free at (800) 721-7996 or visit the Secretary of State's web site at www.sos.mo.gov/securities.