Do you feel sorry for these "victims"? I don't. Although the story doesn't say; I'm willing to bet that every victim was promised unreasonably generous returns on their investments.
If you want to steal from someone, it's pretty easy. Promise them more money than they could reasonably expect to obtain from another investment.
All you need to do is show up without any morals. Their greed will do the rest.
In nearly every boiler-room scam, investors are promised more money than they could get elsewhere. So they close their eyes and make a billion dollar wish upon a star. So why should I feel sorry for anyone who lets greed get into the way of common sense?
In a sense, the victims in boiler-room scams are no different from the crooks. Everyone involved wanted something they were not entitled to. The scammer wanted money he doesn't deserve. The investors wanted returns that they would never otherwise have earned in an honest transaction.
Don't be a greedy fool, and you'll keep your money.