ARE YOU THE VICTIM OF FRAUD BY A BROKER OR HAVE YOU SUFFERED ABUSES FROM A FINANCIAL ADVISOR?
Let Wolper Law Firm, P.A. help you recover your losses.
All investing carries some level of risk, but those risks should never come from the actions of your financial advisor, brokerage firm, or stockbroker. When someone you trusted with your life savings leaves you facing financial ruin, you need powerful legal support. We can help you. Our Illinois investment fraud attorney will work closely with you to ensure you learn what your legal options are and how to recover the losses you’ve sustained.
Accountability in investment fraud cases often comes through Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration. FINRA is the largest self-regulatory organization of brokers in the country and is responsible for overseeing broker and brokerage firm negligence and misconduct. Independent arbitrators in the FINRA arbitration forum have the ability to order brokers and financial planners to reimburse investors for their losses.
Also, in some investment fraud situations, claims may be pursued against brokers, brokerage firms and other financial professionals through civil lawsuits in court.
Why Choose Us?
You can depend on our Illinois investment fraud lawyer to help you. We know just how devastating these situations can be and have helped many people facing the same financial losses to recover. You can depend on us for many reasons:
- We have a 99% win rate. That means that 99% of our clients receive financial compensation from the losses they’ve suffered.
- We’ve recovered MILLIONS on behalf of our clients. That’s over $91 million in fines from those who have taken advantage of others. We’ve also helped our clients receive $49 million in restitution. Our results speak for themselves.
- Our experienced attorneys, including Matthew Wolper and Stephan Louviere, are dedicated professionals with years of experience working as broker fraud lawyers. We serve clients nationwide.
We provide free consultations to allow you to speak to our team about your legal options and rights. We encourage you to act quickly – call 800.931.8452 now to speak to our legal team about your rights to compensation for your losses.
WHAT IS INVESTMENT FRAUD?
Every registered stockbroker and investment advisor has a fiduciary duty to their clients. This means they are obligated to prioritize the best interests of the investor over their own financial interests. When a broker or advisor fails to do so and instead engages in misconduct or investment fraud or is negligent in handling their clients’ portfolios, they have breached this fiduciary duty and should be held accountable. Our investment fraud attorneys have experience with these complex cases and know the law. We can make sure your interests and rights are protected if you have been the victim of 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 investment fraud definition, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which investigates criminal cases of investment fraud, describes it as the “illegal sale or purported sale of financial instruments. The typical investment fraud schemes are characterized by offers of low- or no-risk investments, guaranteed returns, overly-consistent returns, complex strategies, or unregistered securities.”
The following sections list some specific examples of stockbroker fraud and other investment fraud schemes.
HAVE YOU SUFFERED DUE TO THE ACTIONS OF AN INVESTOR YOU TRUSTED?
Hiring an investor fraud attorney in Illinois may be one of the most important decisions for your future. If you lost a lot of money because of the actions of a financial professional you believe acted in a fraudulent manner, allow our investment fraud lawyers to work with you to prove that. This is complex and requires a highly skilled and experienced team to ensure you are able to clearly show it was their actions that led to your losses, not the investment market’s changes.
You may be a victim of investor fraud if:
- You experienced a significant and unexpected loss from your financial investments.
- There was an unexpected large gain or loss recorded.
- You did not authorize trades on your account, or you do not understand what occurred within your account.
- There are excessive transactions noted on your account and you cannot get an explanation as to why.
- Your accounts have declined in value consistently even when conditions in the markets should have helped them improve.
- You have losses even though similar investments saw gains.
- You do not recognize withdrawals on your account.
- Your financial advisor has been accused of fraud previously.
Even if you are unsure of what has occurred, our Illinois investment fraud attorneys can help you find out. We will work closely with you to determine what losses occurred and why, providing you with some understanding of your legal options.
WHAT ARE INVESTMENT FRAUD EXAMPLES?
What is an example of investment fraud? There are many different types of investment fraud, but in the big picture, they are all the same thing—a way for you to be cheated out of significant amounts of money because of the greed of a financial advisor or other party. Some of the most common types of investment fraud are:
- Misrepresentation – Stockbroker misrepresentation occurs when your financial advisor withholds material information or provides you with misleading information in order to impact your investment decision. This could include not disclosing the cost of a commission on a transaction or not adequately informing you about the risks of an investment.
- Unsuitable recommendations – Brokers should only recommend investment opportunities that align with the investment objectives and risk tolerance of the customer. Any investment that does not align with an investor’s goals, or is outside of the stated risk parameters, may not be suitable and may be evidence of fraud.
- Late-day trading – This type of fraud involves executing trades after hours but then recording them as having been executed before the market closed that day.
- Churning – Also commonly known as excessive trading, churning occurs when a broker over-trades in an investor’s account with the purpose of generating commissions for themselves on each transaction.
- Unauthorized trading – When brokers execute trades in accounts without the permission of the investor, they may be engaging in unauthorized trading, unless the account is a discretionary account or the investor has a margin account that has fallen below balance requirements.
- Embezzlement – Embezzlers steal or misappropriate funds that have been entrusted to them by the investor.
- Advance fee schemes – There are endless types of advance fee schemes. They promise large gifts, prizes, trips, and other things of high value in exchange for a smaller fee. The victim loses out when they don’t receive what they thought they were signing up for.
- Ponzi schemes – One of the most widely known types of investment fraud, Ponzi schemes lure investors in and then repay new investors with the funds of older investors. There is rarely any legitimate business activity with Ponzi schemes, and they always fall apart when the scammer is unable to continue paying investor returns.
- 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.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF INVESTMENT FRAUD IN ILLINOIS
If you suspect you have lost money or suffered other financial losses due to investor fraud, do not wait to reach out to an Illinois investment fraud attorney. These are some of the most complex cases today, which means they require the careful and full attention of an Illinois investment fraud attorney.
When you contact our team to inquire about investment fraud, we will:
- Gather as much information as possible from you about what occurred. It is critical that we have as much data as possible to be able to understand what occurred.
- We’ll conduct research using all evidence possible. Because our legal team has years of experience in investment fraud, we are highly knowledgeable in this area of the law, which works to protect you.
- Our team will determine if you have a case. If so, that means you will work with an Illinois investment fraud lawyer to determine what can be done, including how to proceed with a claim. Our team will work to estimate the amount of money you’ve lost as a result of the fraud as well.
We will then go to work for you, determining what the next steps are. Filing a lawsuit can be a vital step for you, especially if the investment firm is not willing to work with us. If that is the case, our team will work to build a strong case in your favor. We’ll do that by gathering all documentation that may prove your losses from broker fraud.
To help you, provide your investor fraud attorney in Illinois with as much information as you can about your situation. Some information that may help includes:
- All statements from the accounts where you suspect there has been fraud and any linked accounts.
- The contact information as well as license numbers, account numbers, and other data about the broker or financial advisor.
- Any correspondence you have between you and the advisor or broker, including emails, letters, text messages, or any documentation that you have.
- Detailed notes about any conversations you had with the advisor over the phone, including date and time information as well as what was discussed.
- Create a timeline of what occurred. Our investment fraud lawyers will work to structure this with you to help determine what may have happened and when.
- Police reports you have filed. If you have not done so, let our Illinois investment fraud lawyer help you.
- Any other information you have that could indicate your financial losses from the advisor.
Illinois Investment Fraud FAQ’s
Many times, our clients have numerous questions. We encourage you to ask your Illinois investment fraud attorney your questions specifically. Here are some of the most commonly asked:
FINRA Rule 12206 sets the time-related eligibility requirements for FINRA arbitration claims. Investors have a maximum of six years from the date that the investment fraud occurred to initiate a FINRA arbitration complaint. It is important that investors keep a close eye on their accounts and contact an investment fraud lawyer as soon as they notice inconsistencies. Don’t risk running out of time for initiating a complaint. Reach out to us today.
Whether you can sue your stockbroker in court depends on whether you have an arbitration agreement with your brokerage firm. If you do, you will probably have to arbitrate your case with FINRA. If you haven’t signed an arbitration agreement, you may be able to pursue your claim through a civil lawsuit. Once one of our investment fraud lawyers reviews the circumstances of your case, we can advise you about your options for pursuing compensation. Call us at 800.931.8452 so we can learn how we can help you.
Perpetrators of investment fraud can be licensed stockbrokers, financial advisors and others who are trusted by their investor clients. They can be formerly registered or licensed brokers who have lost their credentials because of previous misconduct but can still talk the necessary talk to draw investors in. They can also be people who were never registered or licensed but are posing as financial planners or brokers specifically to defraud investors. And sometimes, sadly, everyday people that investors trust — including family members, friends, and others — engage in investment fraud. Who committed the fraud, the details of the fraud and other factors will help determine your legal remedies.
Contact us to learn more about the specific rights you have in any situation.
DON’T WAIT TO GET HELP
Call your Illinois investment fraud attorney today to discuss your case. Let the team at Wolper Law Firm, P.A. provide you with answers to all of your questions. Reach us at 800.931.8452 for a free consultation.