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Immigrants seek investments from woman accused of fraud

While virtually anyone can find that they are the victim of securities fraud there are certain demographics that those perpetrating the fraud may be drawn to. In previous posts we have focused on the vulnerability of elderly individuals. Their unfamiliarity with the world of investing sometimes coupled with dementia make them easy marks. They are not the only group that could be taken advantage of however. Immigrants could be easy victims as well. The criminal charges brought against a businesswoman on the west coast illustrate this.

This past spring the 44-year-old woman was charged with several crimes including securities fraud after allegedly swindling more than $250,000 from unsuspecting victims. One individual with knowledge of the woman’s activities estimates that she took closer to $650,000.

Some people allegedly gave her the money so that she could transfer it to family members while others fell prey to fraudulent investment schemes. While some of the victims do not speak English, others who are in the country without proper documentation said they were afraid to go to the police. Still others claim that she threatened to harm family members. The alleged scheme was uncovered after several victims did decide to go to law enforcement.

While those the woman took advantage of are likely pleased that she is facing criminal charges, since some lost their life savings, they are probably more concerned with getting their money back. Sadly, because the woman has a bankruptcy case pending, it could take up to three years for them to learn whether they will get anything back. If the bankruptcy goes through, those debts would be erased.

As this case illustrates matters involving securities fraud are often complex. For the best chance of recovering investments in situations such as this one it is a good idea to work with a lawyer.

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