If you or a family member have been affected by investment fraud, please call your Utah House and Senate representatives and urge them to support Senator McAdams’ bills. I have met with him several times to discuss these bills and I think he is really on the right track. UPDATE: On September 17th The Salt Lake Tribune issued an editorial supporting these bills.
As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune today, State Senator Ben McAdams is proposing four bills designed to crack down on scam artists and securities fraud in Utah:
- A bill to strengthen penalties for defrauding a vulnerable adult such as someone with dementia and expand the scope of felony penalties for so-called affinity fraud to include relationships of “special trust,” including relatives, religious leaders, landlords, employers and doctors.
- A bill to reward whistle-blowers who have knowledge about companies that are defrauding people (similar to the whistleblower provisions in the new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010,).
- A bill to expand the fair-credit act to apply more broadly in mortgages to protect consumers.
- A Medicaid change allowing private litigation against health providers who bill for services they never provide, such as wheelchairs or crutches.
I think these are terrific ideas, and the Utah Division of Securities is supporting them as well. In particular I like the one that provides for enhanced penalties for religious leaders (among others) who use their positions of trust to perpetrate fraud on others.