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Penalties increase for people who swindle senior citizens

A new state law gives tougher penalties to those caught swindling money from the elderly.

The law allows double the punishment and higher restitution payments for those who con victims 65 and older.

Patricia Struck of the state Department of Financial Institutions says up to half the securities fraud cases it investigates now involve older victims.

Last year, all but 10 of the agency's 27 enforcement orders were for cases involving victims older than 65.

Going into this year, the department had 93 investigations still pending.

Struck says many older investors are worried that they'll outlive their retirement savings - and swindlers prey on those people.

She said that when investment rates went down with the recession, many seniors became more willing to consider investment pitches that were too good to be true.

Wisconsin joins about a dozen states that have enhanced penalties for swindling on the elderly.