Arrest Made in FL Scheme That Targeted Retirement Savings
Florida is home to many retirees. Often these individuals save for years for their retirement. Unfortunately, there are some criminals who go out of their way to exploit senior citizens in an attempt to rob them of their savings. That is exactly what happened to 20 different Florida resident who lost upwards of $1.2 million in retirement savings due to a money laundering scheme by four perpetrators.
In order to target the savings accounts of elderly citizens, the defendants created a fake business that bought and sold precious metals. These metals were advertised to senior citizens as an investment opportunity. Many did invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, but less than one-percent of these funds were actually used to buy precious metals. Instead, the individuals laundered the money through shell companies and dozens of different bank accounts.
Fortunately, last October they were arrested in Florida. The arrests came after a long-term joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. These various entities worked together to investigate the potential abuses and locate the perpetrators. While they were able to make four arrests, two people remained at large who officials allege were also involved in the scheme.
While the arrests are good news for potential future victims, it is too late for those who already handed over their hard-earned retirement savings. Many of these people lost everything and may never be able to recoup these funds from the perpetrators.
It can take a lifetime to save for retirement. Many individuals work hard so that they can care for their families. Those with retirement savings should consider setting up trusts and other retirement accounts that could protect their assets and provide for their loved ones. To learn more about these important estate planning tools, contact the dedicated Florida estate planning attorneys at BaumannKangas Estate Law.