It was the horror stories that got our attention first. There was the Ohio planner who converted more than $924,750 from a 95-year-old customer’s trust account without the customer’s knowledge or authorization, according to FINRA. And there was the Nebraska advisor who “exercised discretion” in the account of an elderly customer with dementia to recommend transactions that were “qualitatively and quantitatively unsuitable,” FINRA found.

Still more: The Washington state advisor who, the SEC noted, defied a FINRA ban and continued to work with clients, many of them elderly; he was eventually convicted of stealing more than $255,000 from 26 online accounts of clients. “Many of the victims were elderly and had little understanding of online brokerage accounts,” the SEC noted at the time.

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