State News

Attorney General Wilson Applauds Passage of New Law to Combat Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and Other Vulnerable Adults

Vulnerable adults in South Carolina will be better protected from financial exploitation in South Carolina because of a new law signed by Governor McMaster.

This new law grants financial institutions, including banks, broker-dealers, and investment advisers, the ability to delay a financial transaction if there is a reasonable belief that financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult is taking place.  The delay will give the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Social Services time to investigate the suspected abuse.

Attorney General Alan Wilson announces price gouging statute in effect  because of pipeline disruption - South Carolina Attorney GeneralSouth  Carolina Attorney General
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

“Seniors and vulnerable adults are often the targets of financial fraud and abuse, which is why my office strongly supported this legislation,” said Attorney General Wilson.  “Financial services professionals are uniquely positioned to spot the red flags of financial exploitation, and this new law gives the financial industry another tool to help intercede on behalf of our State’s most vulnerable.”  Attorney General Wilson also thanked the legislature, the governor, and the Department of Social Services for their support.  He also expressed sincere appreciation to the South Carolina Bankers Association and LPL Financial, whose support was instrumental in the passage of the legislation.

Senate Bill 425 was introduced in the South Carolina Senate by Senator Thomas Alexander (District 1 – Oconee) and co-sponsored by Senator Mia McLeod (District 22 – Kershaw and Richland), Tom Young (District 24 – Aiken), and Senator Penry Gustafson (District 27 – Chesterfield, Kershaw & Lancaster).  House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee Chairman Representative Bill Sandifer (District 2 – Oconee & Pickens) and Representative Joseph Jefferson (Berkeley & Dorchester) introduced a South Carolina House companion bill.

Vol 08 Issue 107 August 2018 - Security Through Education

The Bill had broad support from public interest groups and financial institutions, including LPL Financial, which has corporate offices in Fort Mill, SC.  “State regulators and local authorities are on the front line of dealing with fraud and exploitation, and often the first place that investors or their families turn to for help,” said John Cronin of LPL Financial. “With this legislation, South Carolina is creating additional layers of protection of its most vulnerable residents. We are proud to play a role championing this effort in a state that LPL calls home.”  Fred Green, President and CEO of the South Carolina Bankers Association, expressed deep appreciation for Governor McMaster’s signing of S.425 on behalf of the banking industry, and added: “This legislation provides our bankers more tools to stop or slow down questionable transactions in order review them and to stop those that are fraudulent.”  Mr. Green said, “We thank Chairman Thomas Alexander for his sponsorship of S.425, as well as Chairman Bill Sandifer for his House leadership in passing the bill, and we also thank Attorney General Wilson’s office, financial services providers such as LPL Financial, and the Department of Social Services for their active support and work on this important legislation.”

Other provisions of the legislation include exempting financial institutions and their employees from liability fter placing a hold and reporting to DSS’ Adult Protective Services Division and the Securities Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of investment fraud or misconduct, the Attorney General’s Office encourages you to contact the South Carolina Attorney’s General Office Securities Division at P.O. Box 11549, Columbia, South Carolina 29211; by email at agsecurities@scag.gov; or by phone at 803-734-0789.

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