As of today, laws in Alabama, Indiana, and Vermont require financial advisers to report suspected financial abuse of the elderly and other vulnerable adults to state officials. These states’ legislatures approved the bills earlier this year. And their governors signed the bills into law, putting these states at the forefront of protecting against elder financial abuse. The new laws also permit advisors to cease the disbursement of funds from client accounts and give advisers immunity from civil liability, in addition to requiring reporting of situations involving people who are older than 65 or are disabled.Louisiana passed a similar law this month. It will go into effect on January 1 of next year. Each of the new laws is based on a model rule approved earlier this year by the North American Securities Administrators Associations Inc., which is made of state regulators and made protecting against elder financial abuse a priority. “This law will help our investment advisers and brokers to partner with us in Vermont to tackle this problem that is pervasive,” said Michael Pieciak, Vermont deputy securities commissioner. FINRA and the SEC also have targeted elder financial abuse in their examinations and enforcement. The focus on this issue is a natural result of the burgeoning number of retirees and their wealth, said Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission. He made an analogy to Willie Sutton, a notorious thief who once said he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” “Guess where the money is these days,” Mr. Borg said. “It’s with the folks over 65. It’s the senior population that has the assets.” If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.