Former Broker Charged With Elder Abuse and Fraud in Annuity Scam

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office arraigned John McTaggart, a 45-year-old former broker for allegedly stealing $140,000 from an 86-year-old San Francisco woman as part of an annuity scam.  McTaggert, a former broker helped the woman secure a reverse mortgage and convinced her to invest the money into different annuity accounts, but instead fraudulently deposited the money into his personal account before fleeing to Tennessee.

The defendant allegedly attempted to mask this fraud, by sending monthly checks to the victim, essentially paying her “dividends” from the money he had stolen directly from her.

District Attorney Kamala Harris said Friday that McTaggart “victimized and actually preyed on” the woman because of her vulnerability.  According to police investigators, the woman had responded to a mass mailing advertisement from McTaggart.


Harris said scammers will target seniors with financial assets, and who, out of misplaced trust and sometimes loneliness, will take them into their confidence.
After helping a victim obtain a reverse mortgage, the scammers say, “Now that you’ve got this cash, let me help you invest it,” Harris said.

The DA and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting earlier this week announced a public education campaign aimed at teaching residents about finance and how to avoid fraud and scams. The campaign will provide information at churches, community centers and senior centers.

He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted, plus a $10,000 fine and restitution to the victim.

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  • Does anyone know if he was the actual loan officer for the reverse? The article simply says “a former broker” and that he helped her get the loan.

    Also, I noticed that other reports state that the stolen monies were from a “legitimate reverse mortgage”. I am just trying to get some clarity. As we all have seen, the media has a tendency to inaccurately lump in our industry as the cause of such scams.

  • One Bad Apple like this Pond Scum is what creates the over reaction by regulator’s and screws the rest of us with ridiculous hoops put in place seemingly to safeguard the Senior! As we can see in this example all of the new regulations meant nothing (nor will any future regulations) because a crook is going to be a crook! He doesn’t follow regulations! I think in this case Capital Punishment is appropriate!

  • I agree with comments from Shannon, Ron, Dan and The Critic,

    Ah Ha – MEDIA, The majority know not what they speak or print!

    Media is noted for, too many years, to go for the throat. Accurate reporting, on anything, is past. Sensationlism is King! Tabloids sell! Who cares if it is accurate? We have to sell the story. Accuracy just clouds the story. Common sense, Accuracy, Truth -what do these words mean to the majority of the media? Truth does not always sell on the media! What ever happened to ” and now for the rest of the story?”

    I have heard to many Attorneys and others invited to speak, to people, stand and speak about what they know very little about. Why does the media think they are able, today, to get the story straight, especially about the HECM Reverse Mortgage, etc., when the research is so limited on the many things they report?

    Geez Media, The loan is only been around for 20 years. We don’t hear much, from the Media, about the OPTION ARM Loan by the forward mortgage industry to seniors. The majority of the seniors could not pay the minimum amount of the four choices on the loan and lost their home to foreclosure.

    Oh! Whoops, forgot to mention, if the Media even reads this. We in the Reverse Mortgage Industry assisted many seniors out of foreclosure from the predatory lending practices of the forward loan industry(conventional loan industry.

    Alas! Because of the allowed lending practices in the conventional losn industry, home prices declined and many senior lost their homes to foreclosure.

    Ummm! There may be a story here for the Media!!! Naaah!

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