Financial exploitation is the fastest-growing category of elder abuse in many states, according to a press release this week from the state House Democrats. One out of every five citizens over the age of 65 has been victimized by financial fraud.
On a party-line vote Tuesday, majority state House Democrats did something about it. They adopted House Bill 1253, which as the press release describes it, creates a reporting requirement for investment advisers and brokers who have a “reasonable belief” that someone has ripped off, or is scheming to defraud, a Coloradan over the age of 65. The bill requires the investment professional in such circumstances to report the suspected incident to the state securities commissioner, who in turn would forward the report to law enforcement.
The press release quotes the measure’s sponsor, state Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, following the bill’s adoption by the House:
“We owe it to Colorado seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes and tight budgets, to put a stop to these crimes…The generosity that came to define the ‘Greatest Generation’ is exactly what makes seniors targets for this form of elder abuse.”
Representatives of the financial-planning industry and of law enforcement had testified in favor of the bill in committee last month.
The Democrats’ press release pointedly notes the 36-28 House vote included, “every House Republican voting against creating this barrier to unscrupulous operators trying to prey on Colorado seniors.”
The bill now goes to the state Senate.