Beware of 'low-risk' investments, experts say

Many fraudsters particularly prey on seniors

Published: Saturday, June 28 2014 3:15 p.m. MDT

With June being Elder Abuse Awareness month, some local financial institutions in association with AARP and the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services are providing education about the issue as well as providing banking services and products for seniors and their caregivers that help avert elder financial abuse.

Francine Giani, the executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce, called such cases "disgusting" and said they illustrate the need for family members and neighbors to help protect older people from scam artists.

"It's absolutely terrible," Giani said. "We have to step up to the plate and be more conscientious and less trusting."

Criminal charges were also filed in May against Richard Loveday, 47, of Alpine who is accused of swindling an 88-year-old Washington County woman out of $100,000 and taking money from her while she recuperated from a broken hip.

The woman met Loveday's wife at a health expo in St. George, and in April 2013 the Lovedays allegedly showed up at her home unannounced.

Loveday, a principal in a firm named CGI Global Management, offered the woman a $70,000 investment in a pool with other investors for small loans to businesses and individuals. According to court documents, he promised her a 14 percent return, $875 monthly income payments and a $15,000 bonus for her investment.

Based on his verbal assurances and without a written contract, the woman told investigators that she gave Loveday a $70,000 cashier's check.

Loveday, who has dual U.S/Canadian citizenship, was not licensed to sell securities, authorities said. He also allegedly failed to tell the women about pending eviction and debt collection actions against him.

Prosecutors say he used the money for personal and family expenses and paid the woman $875 a month for three months out of her own money.

He was charged with securities fraud, theft and communications fraud, all second-degree felonies. In a plea deal, he admitted to communications fraud and prosecutors dismissed the other charges. A judge sentenced him to 40 days in jail and five years' probation. Prison time and a $10,000 fine were suspended.

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