MIAMI (CN) – A businesswoman says TD Ameritrade let her investment adviser swipe more than $2.2 million from her accounts. She claims Ameritrade “took no steps to verify the purported transfers requests or contact [her] in any manner whatsoever,” even though the transfers “dissipated virtually the entire balance” of her account.
In her complaint in Miami-Dade County Court, Carolyn Travis Gilson says she opened Ameritrade accounts in November 2008 so her investment adviser, Edward T. Stein, could make “limited, authorized investments on her behalf.”
She claims that without her knowledge or consent, between December 2008 and March 2009 Stein forged Gilson’s signature and made nine fraudulent transfers from her accounts to accounts he controlled.
To conceal his actions, she says, Stein had the account statements sent to him, not to her. Stein, however, is not named as a defendant.
Gilson says, “Ameritrade took no steps to verify the purported transfers requests or contact Gilson in any manner whatsoever,” even though the transfers “dissipated virtually the entire balance” of her accounts and “eight out of the nine transfers were directed to unknown third parties.”
Though Stein got her age and drivers’ license wrong, Gilson says he forged her signature to open accounts at TD Bank in the name of her businesses, G&C Investment Joint Venture and LAZ Development Corp., then almost immediately withdrew those funds and used them either for his own benefit or in furtherance of the unlawful Ponzi scheme that the S.E.C. has accused him of masterminding.”
Gilson seeks damages for negligence and violations of the Consumer Code. She is represented by Jonathan Etra.