Banks, Brokers Deceive 'Less Combative' Seniors, Lawsuits Show

seniors checking over records
seniors checking over records

Senior citizens have long been a coveted demographic for financial fraud, but when banks, too, try to get in on the action, something really stinks. The case of a Wachovia client who recently sued the bank for turning a blind eye on a questionable practice that cracked her nest egg, and the attorney who helped her win back her losses, shines light on the hidden relationships between banks and brokerage firms that sell investment products.

In a claim against Wachovia, as in similar cases that securities fraud attorney Mark Tepper said he has tackled, a retired court clerk alleged a bank teller disregarded her request for opening an IRA account and instead told her to speak with a Wachovia financial adviser. The adviser was not an employee of the bank, but worked for its sister company Wachovia Securities, Inc. (now Wells Fargo Advisers), and had a desk on the premises of the bank.