I'm terribly sorry this is happening to you. Without being able to review the contract, the advise that I (or anyone else) will be able to give you is limited.
That said, from what you say, I think you (most likely) have a very strong case arising under common law, applicable consumer protection laws, contract law, and special protections our laws afford to the elderly.
I highly, highly recommend you contact a local attorney and inquire as to whether they'd be willing to work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no up front fees and you only pay a percentage of whatever damages you recover.
A: You're probably not out the $1,500. I would give them more time to conduct their investigation. If you haven't committed fraud, there's likely nothing to fear.
There are a lot of reason TD Ameritrade would put a hold on your funds; namely, you seem to be using a brokerage account as someone would use a checking or savings account. It's not fraudulent to do so, but it's unusual. You will find that your money is much easier to access in a standard checking account, my advice on a going-forward basis would be to not deposit funds into a brokerage account that you'll need to access in the short-term.
Do you have any pending transactions (i.e., have you bought and
sold any securities in the time between the check clearing and trying to make the withdrawal)? If yes, they may put a hold on your funds in an amount greater that the buy order to ensure you can cover the position.
They may also want to look into your activity before releasing the funds. They have a lot of SEC requirements to comply with when it comes to cash trading accounts, and may want ensure that you're not engaging in common violative behavior (free riding, liquidation, good faith violations). All of this is to say, even if the check from your grandma is cleared, the funds may not be "settled" in the brokerage account the way they must be for them to be released to you. ... Read More