Massachusetts' top securities regulator charged two men today with investment fraud, saying the pair lied about their qualifications as they tried to sell sophisticated financial products to senior citizens.
William Galvin, the Massachusetts Secretary of State, said Steven Anzuoni of Plymouth used "bogus" designations when he called himself a certified elder planner and certified senior advisor. James Maltz, who has a nonprofit corporation called Consumer Educational Services Inc. of Canton, represented himself as a investment adviser even though he was not registered with the state.
"Fly-by-night credentials constitute a fraud upon our citizens," Galvin said in a statement.
Responding by e-mail, Anzuoni said he had forwarded the complaint to his attorney and added that he was unable to comment beyond saying that he plans to defend himself vigorously against Galvin's allegations.
Maltz's attorney, Thomas J. Butters of the Boston law firm of Butters Brazilian LLP, said, "The secretary of state has zero evidence that my client did anything except give the best possible advice to his senior clients."
Galvin said Anzuoni wooed older investors with offers of complimentary financial reviews and relied on his made up designations to persuade one 82-year old client to sell some mutual funds and put the money into annuities with long lock-up periods. The man complained but died before the matter was resolved. (Reuters and Globe staff)