TIGER, Ga. - Not having a retirement plan is one thing. But when you save, invest and plan only to see that money disappear that's another.
Wanda Dye and her husband did everything right. They planned well for retirement. Her husband passed leaving her financially secure. Or so he thought. Her story of elder fraud is a tune we hear too often.
But Ms. Dye is feisty. She picked up the bass guitar after her husband died.
"It showed me that an old dog can learn new tricks," she said.
Music helped her fight back sadness when he died soon after they bought their retirement home.
"He wanted it for me to get me up in the mountains which we had talked about for years."
But 73-year-old Ms. Dye is about to lose her serene spot in the trees. In a lawsuit against MetLife and Pruco securities, she claims an investment broker, who worked for both of them, fraudulently mismanaged more than $1M in assets she had when her husband died.
Today, she's broke.
She doesn't have enough money to keep her home.
"I've only got enough for two more months."
Her attorney, Jason Doss of The Doss Firm, specializes in fraud against the elderly. He told the Fox 5 I-Team, "She was ready to enjoy her golden years and this person comes along and steals it from her."
The recently filed suit says that after her husband died, MetLife Securities agreed to help manage her money. She says, Winston Wade Turner showed up at her Rabun County home and told her that she could trust him with her life savings.
"He was writing down things," she recalled. "He was putting down there, like, look what I can do with this money. He spent like two-to -three hours with me."
She says everything was fine for a while. Her broker even switched firms moving to Pruco Securities but that nothing for her had changed. She still had access to money.
But what she didn't know then was that she was a victim of a practice that financial regulators call
"twisting." Her attorney says her broker was buying and selling her investment over and over again, and she paid expensive fees every time.
"He was selling an annuity product that has a high commission upfront, liquidating that annuity, causing a surrender charge for the customer then selling a new annuity to the customer to make a new commission," Doss said.
But there's more. Her broker Winston Wade Turner told her he had another moneymaking deal for her.
"A fictitious entity which he convinced her to invest in bio-fuels, which doesn't exist. And she lost over a half million dollars just in that investment alone," her attorney told us.
She never knew anything was amiss even though others did.
In Wanda Dye's lawsuit, she says that both MetLife and Pruco securities, "failed to warn or notify" her about Winston Wade Turner's "misconduct." In fact, Pruco Securities fired him for how he handled investments like Wanda's. But they didn't tell her.
Even when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority started investigating him back in 2015, no one told her. And she wasn't notified when FINRA banned him from the industry.
She knows now though because her money is gone and her broker is too.
According to the regulatory agency's own records, there is a long list of clients who submitted claims against Turner similar to Ms. Dye's going back years.
And now 73-year-old Wanda Dye is back at work, standing six hours a day with a painful foot condition.
"I have club feet, and I had two knee replacements done last year," she revealed.
She is grateful to be working, but her job simply doesn't bring in enough to pay the mortgage.
In tears she told us, "I guess I get kicked out of my home."
Ms. Dye says an FBI agent visited her and they are looking into Winston Wade Turner, as well.
Pruco Securities said it can't comment on pending litigation. MetLife Securities gave no comment.