Efforts to help protect senior citizens from financial fraud and exploitation have taken another step forward in Congress, reports InvestmentNews.
Last week a bipartisan group of four senators introduced the Empowering States to Protect Seniors from Bad Actors Act. The bill creates a $10 million grant program that would be implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It would provide money to state securities regulators for investigation and prosecution of senior financial fraud cases, enhancing technology and training for regulators, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, and providing educational materials for seniors to help increase their awareness of financial scams.
A similar measure was unanimously approved last November by the House Financial Services Committee, and is now awaiting a vote by the full House of Representatives.
The Senate companion bill was introduced by Senators Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. It has been sent to the Senate Banking Committee.
The legislation has drawn support from a number of organizations, including the AARP, Americans for Financial Reform, CFP Board and the Financial Services Institute. The North American Securities Administrators Association, an organization representing state regulators, said it is urging swift bipartisan approval.
Under the proposed measure, responsibility for administering the grant program would shift from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the SEC. A task force would be established within the SEC to review grant applications for the program.
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