Investment fraud is one of the fastest growing areas of complaint facing regulators. According to CNBC, there were $5.8 billion in losses last year. This is a 70% increase in one year, with 2.8 million complaints filed by investors.
Your stockbroker, financial advisor, and firm are governed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA regulates the financial industry and sets the standards that all investment professionals must follow. The losses you have in your account could be from your broker or advisor’s not following suitability rules before making any investment.
FINRA requires that all investments must be suitable and take into consideration several factors, including:
- Your income
- Net worth
- Risk tolerance
- Comfort level.
You provide this information when you open your account, and your investment professional must take it into consideration. If your broker or financial advisor ignored any of these factors, you could be entitled to compensation. They must inform you of the risks for any investments and ensure that they are following these standards.
Call the California investment fraud attorneys at the Wolper Law Firm, P.A. today and let us go over your options at 800.931.8452. We offer a free consultation so you can see what is happening and know what to do to hold these people and their firms accountable.
How We Can Help
It’s normal to be dejected and disappointed after suffering a substantial loss on an investment. At Wolper Law Firm, P.A., our experienced team of investment fraud lawyers will help you understand your legal options and work with you to obtain compensation for your losses. As soon as we accept your case, we’ll fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Wolper Law Firm, P.A. today to learn how we can assist you with your investment losses due to investment or stock fraud. Call us at 855.453.8605 to arrange a free consultation with a seasoned California investment fraud attorney.
What is Investment Fraud?
Investment fraud comes in many different forms. They all end up with your losing money at the hands of your stockbroker, financial advisor, their firm, or the issuer. The different kinds of investment fraud include
- Making unsuitable recommendations: This is when your broker or financial advisor knows your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial information, but they make recommendations that ignore any one or all these factors. Any recommendation that does not meet these standards is considered to be investment fraud.
- After-hours trading: After-hours trading occurs after the markets have closed and the trades are marked as being executed before the close.
- Churning: This is a practice where the broker or financial advisor will encourage you to trade repeatedly to generate commissions. The financial professional is not interested in your investment goals and is only thinking about the amount of money they will make for themselves on the commissions and fees.
- Unauthorized Trading: Your investment professional must receive your permission in advance before doing any buys or sells. The only way that they don’t have to do this is for discretionary and margin accounts.
- Embezzlement: This is when money is taken from your account by a financial professional. You expect them to protect you, but they are stealing it for their benefit.
- Advanced fees: Some investments require you to pay a fee in advance to receive a prize, gift, trip, or items that are high in value. The victims lose money when they don’t get what they were supposed to when they signed up.
- Ponzi schemes: These are luring in new investors with the promise of higher returns. The older investors are repaid from the money received by new investors. These schemes have no legitimate purpose and fail when the fraudster can’t continue paying investors high returns.
- Real estate fraud schemes: This is when you will receive promises of investing in different areas of real estate with the lure of high returns. The money is invested in areas that are very speculative, with no chance of returning anything to you.
- Promissory note fraud: These are schemes where brokers and financial advisors are encouraged to sell unregistered promissory notes to their clients. The issuers offer large commissions and bonuses.
- Hedge fund fraud – Hedge funds are frequently risky, and there are many ways fraud can occur. Fraud in this area generally involves misleading investors in order to get them to invest in the hedge fund.
- High-yield investment fraud – If it sounds too good it be true, it probably is. High-yield investment programs (HYIP) promise to generate high returns at low risk. This is a red flag that the HYIP is a scam.
- Cryptocurrency fraud – Cryptocurrency is unregulated by the government. It is a very popular way for scammers to trick investors into sending money, engage in money laundering, bribe people, and even avoid paying taxes.
- Pyramid schemes – Pyramid schemes work by relying on recruits. The people bringing in new recruits are then paid with the funds brought on by the new recruits. These are very similar to many multi-level marketing schemes and will always fall apart when the fraudster is no longer able to generate enough new recruits to pay their investors.
- Foreign currency fraud – Foreign currency fraud can include many types of schemes, but they all promise to produce high returns if trading is done in the foreign exchange markets.
- Social media and internet fraud – Any type of scheme using the internet can be considered internet fraud. Hiding money, embezzlement, and misrepresentation are some of the crimes that constitute internet fraud.
Investment fraud can take many forms. In addition to fraud by registered and licensed brokers, unlicensed and unscrupulous people may engage in investment fraud. They may even set up fake websites and addresses and promote themselves as qualified investment professionals. Investment fraud in all its forms costs investors in this country billions of dollars annually and is both a civil and criminal issue.
The California investment fraud lawyers at the Wolper Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Our team will go after those behind the fraud and hold them accountable for their actions. We have a 99% success rate and will stand up for you. Call us today at 800.931.8452 and see why we are the best investor fraud attorneys in California.
Protect Yourself Before You Invest
Don’t Fall for Empty Promises and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes
If you’ve already lost money due to investment fraud, we may be able to help you recover your losses. Contact our investment fraud attorneys to understand your options. To steer clear of investment fraud in the future, learn how to recognize potentially fraudulent investment offers.
FAQs to Ask Our California Investment Fraud Lawyer
You may have many questions after discovering that you’ve been a victim of investment fraud, and you’ll want answers as soon as possible. To help you feel more at ease before your session, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions about investment fraud, the FINRA arbitration procedure, and related topics.
The first thing you want to do is call the CA investment fraud lawyers at 800.931.8452. We will go over your case and ask for documentation. This helps us to determine the scope of the investment fraud and what actions to take.
Several of the most common forms of investment fraud include Ponzi schemes, real estate investments fraud, promissory note fraud, account, and market manipulation.
Whether you can sue your stockbroker depends on your arbitration agreement. If so, FINRA may arbitrate your case. You can file a civil case if you haven’t signed an arbitration agreement. After reviewing your case, one of our investment fraud lawyers can advise you on compensation options.
FINRA arbitration doesn’t require a lawyer, but a FINRA arbitration lawyer knows how to investigate misbehavior or negligence. With a lawyer who has handled investment fraud claims in FINRA arbitration, you may have a stronger chance of success. Arbitration, like court proceedings, has no promised outcome. You must show that your financial advisor deceived you. Our investment fraud lawyers will develop a strong case for you so you can recover compensation.
Our lawyers for investment fraud have not only taken cases to arbitration and court for investors, but we have also spent many years defending high-dollar brokerage firms and investment companies. This means that we know more than anyone else about how these companies work. This helps our clients, because we can often predict the legal arguments the defendants will use and be ready to counter them.
Negligence Can Lead to Investment Losses
Sometimes investment losses aren’t caused by intentional fraud. In some cases, negligence by the broker or advisor is to blame. Some examples of negligence include when brokers don’t perform due diligence and an investment turns out to be a scam, or when they don’t adequately diversify client portfolios to minimize risk and clients lose money, or when they are simply inattentive to their clients’ goals and investment needs and that results in losses.
These are just some of the various types of investment fraud and negligence that people fall victim to. If you have suffered losses due to any of the aforementioned types of investment fraud—or another type of misconduct or negligence entirely—contact our knowledgeable investment fraud attorney to discuss your legal options. We may be able to help you recover your losses through arbitration or a lawsuit.
Get Legal Help from Investment Fraud Lawyers with a Reputation for Recovery.
We Have Won Money in Over 99% of Cases We’ve Handled and Recovered Millions for Investors Like You.
We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and recoveries for investors who have experienced fraud and negligence. You can visit our case results page to see some of the successes we have achieved on behalf of our valued clients. These results exemplify the commitment of our investment fraud lawyers to putting our strong knowledge and experience to work for you. Get personalized service from our experienced investment fraud lawyer today.
How Do You Know If You Have Been a Victim of Fraud?
There are several signs of investment fraud you should watch for. Here are some of the most common:
- A sudden and unexpected loss in your accounts
- Trades you don’t recognize or understand
- Unexpected large gains or losses
- An overall decline in your accounts over time
- Excessive transactions that can’t be explained
- Losses in which other similar investments saw gains.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Investment Fraud?
If you believe you’ve been the victim of investment fraud, gather the evidence in a fraud file. This evidence will need to be shown to FINRA arbitrators or the court.
Our investment fraud attorney can also help you understand the extent of the misconduct or negligence based upon the evidence in your file and assist you with the recovery process.
Here are the types of information to include in your file:
- Statements from the accounts that you believe show the suspected fraud
- Name, contact information, license numbers and other information about the broker, brokerage firm or financial advisor you believe acted fraudulently
- Notes about your telephone and/or in-person interactions with investment advisors that include dates, times and what was said, if possible
- Copies of emails, texts or any other potential written interactions with your broker or advisor
- A timeline of the events, if you think the fraud occurred over a longer period of time
- Your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies if they show any unusual activity
- A copy of the report if you filed one about the suspected fraud to a police agency
- Witness statements from family or other witnesses, if any, who were with you when you met with your financial advisor.
Contact Wolper Law Firm, P.A. today to learn how we can assist you with your investment losses due to fraud. Call us at 855.453.8614 to arrange a free consultation with an investor fraud attorney.
Recovering Your Investment Fraud Losses
Learn from Our Investment Fraud Lawyers How to Recoup Your Money
You wanted to save and grow your money for retirement or another important goal. To do so, you turned to a professional broker or advisor for help because you thought you could trust their professional expertise.
When you have worked with a financial planning institution, financial advisor, or broker, you might wonder how you became a victim of investment fraud. The problem is that advisors earn a living by making transactions in accounts that generate their commissions. The majority of registered and licensed advisors are ethical and honest. However, as is true in every facet of life, there can be some bad apples among brokers, brokerage companies and financial advisors.
Sometimes, brokers may not do their due diligence in researching investments that turn out to be fraudulent and harm investors, or they may even knowingly engage in misconduct to further their own financial interests. If this has happened in your situation, you may be able to hold your broker accountable through FINRA arbitration or another method of accountability. You can find out what legal options are available to you by speaking with one of our investment fraud attorneys at Wolper Law Firm, P.A..
Still have questions? Contact Our California Investment Fraud Lawyer Today.
If you feel you are the victim of investment fraud, call the investor fraud attorneys in California at 800.931.8452. Our team of experts will go after those responsible for the fraud and hold them responsible. You can get back the money you lost plus any commissions or fees you paid. We offer a free consultation and will go over what options are available.
Investment fraud is becoming increasingly common, and you must act now. This is the only way to stop them — by calling the Wolper Law Firm, P.A. at 800.931.8452.