Investment fraud costs Americans between $10 to $40 billion each year, according to the Securities Investor Protection Corp. Although financial advisors and brokers have a fiduciary duty to provide honest advice to their clients, that duty is sometimes breached.
When financial advisors do not act in the client’s best interest, whether through negligence or though intentional fraud, there can be devastating consequences for investors. For example, when a person has invested their hard-earned money so that they may enjoy a comfortable retirement someday, and then all or part of that money is lost, their life is dramatically affected.
Investment misconduct can take many forms but these are the most common:
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Unsuitable Investments
- Lack of Diversification
- Unauthorized Trading
- Failure to Supervise
- Elder Financial Abuse
- Selling Away
- Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes
- Broker Theft
- Margin and Other Securities-Based Lending
If you suspect that you or a loved one have been the victim of investment fraud, there are ways to recover the losses. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have set forth protections for investors from investment fraud and provide a path to recovery.
The first step to pursuing damages is to speak with an experienced investment fraud attorney to evaluate the strength of your case. They will help you establish the facts of the situation and determine the best path forward to recovering lost investments. You will need to provide any relevant documents and information pertaining to your case, including the history of your relationship with the person or entity against whom you are filing your claim. This initial consultation is critical in being prepared for arbitration or other court action.
FINRA arbitration is the forum in which investment disputes are adjudicated. FINRA arbitration is an expeditious and cost-efficient method of dispute resolution where neutral arbitrators, as opposed to a judge or jury, decide the outcome of the dispute. The arbitration award entered by the arbitrators is final and binding.
In most arbitration cases, the parties will reach a point where settlement of the dispute occurs prior to a final evidentiary hearing. Often, the settlement process is facilitated through a mediation. A mediation is an organized settlement conference with a neutral mediator selected by the parties. The mediator meets with both parties and attempts to broker a settlement. Neither party is required to settle the case and the mediator cannot impose a settlement on the parties.
Wolper Law Firm, P.A. Can Help
The Wolper Law Firm, P.A. represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, P.A., is a trial lawyer with experience in all matters of securities cases. Before starting the Wolper Law Firm, P.A. and representing investors, Matt Wolper represented some of the biggest banks and brokerage firms in securities matters as a partner at a national law firm.
Whether through arbitration, mediation or court, the Wolper Law Firm, P.A. can provide the experienced legal help you need in these complex situations. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. There is no risk to contacting one of our offices today to see how we can help you recover your assets that were lost to broker fraud or negligence.