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Securities and Investment Fraud

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Matt Wolper is an experienced and talented litigator. I look forward to referring my clients to his new firm. -J.C.

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Dedicated to Helping Individuals Recover Investment Losses In

Experienced Investment Loss Attorney That Gets Results

The Wolper Law Firm is a client focused law firm devoted to recovering investment losses on behalf of aggrieved investors. We pursue claims nationwide and in all forums, including arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (AAA) and JAMS. We also pursue claims in state and federal courts.

The experienced securities fraud lawyers at the Wolper Law Firm have handled virtually all types of investment loss cases, such as those related to:

Fraud and Misrepresentation

Securities fraud includes a wide range of illegal activities centered around the misrepresentation or omission of information an investor would reasonably want to know and consider before making an investment decision regarding whether to buy, sell, or hold a security.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

While nobody can predict the day to day movements of the financial markets and predict precisely how your investment portfolio will perform, financial advisors are obligated to act in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, which require them to conduct themselves in the manner outlined above in order to minimize the likelihood that clients will experience substantial losses.

Unsuitable Investments

Making suitable investment recommendations is the cornerstone of proper investment advice. All brokerage firms and financial advisors have a duty to recommend suitable investments that are consistent with the needs and objectives of the investor. Brokerage firms and financial advisors must learn all material facts about an investor before making any recommendations and must match all investments with a customer’s stated investment profile. Failure to recommend suitable investments may result in a claim to recover attenuating investment losses.

Lack of Diversification and Overconcentration

Financial advisors and investment advisors are trained throughout their career to diversify the accounts of their customers as a means to mitigate risk. To this end, brokerage firms encourage their financial advisors to construct portfolios that are diversified in many different types of investments, sectors of the market, asset classes, and geographic regions. Because the financial markets are cyclical, often times certain stocks, bonds, or investment products will appreciate in value while non-correlated securities will decline. A well-diversified portfolio may still decline in value. However, it will be less volatile than a concentrated portfolio.

Unauthorized Trading

Before executing a trade, the law requires that your financial advisor obtain prior authorization from the account owner or his or her written designee. Failure to obtain prior authorization may provide you with a claim to recover any attending losses and a return of all commissions charged. Financial advisors who engage in unauthorized trading often do so in order to generate a commission. Passive investors who do not regularly review the details of their account statements are more susceptible to being victimized by unauthorized trading. It is important for you to review your account statements and trade confirmations each month and monitor all transactions made in your accounts.

It is very easy to identify unauthorized trades. When you receive monthly account statements and trade confirmations, carefully review them to determine whether you recognize, and can recall having a conversation about, each security purchased in the account. Similarly, if you notice that a security has been sold, confirm that you spoke to your advisor and authorized each such sale. If you cannot answer these questions in the affirmative, chances are your financial advisor has engaged in unauthorized trading.

Churning

Excessive trading or churning refers to the practice of a financial advisor recommending or placing trades for the purpose of generating fees or commissions. It is the classic example of a financial advisor putting his or her interests in front of the client’s interests. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) requires that financial advisors uphold the highest degree of commercial honor and just principles of trade. Engaging in churning or excessive trading violates that requirement.

In situations where a financial advisor has engaged in excessive trading or churning, it is not uncommon for the financial advisor to tout the performance of the account on an annualized basis. However, the measure of performance must take into account the cost of transactions throughout the same time period.

Failure to Supervise

It is the responsibility of brokerage firm management to ensure that the account activity is consistent with the needs and objectives of the investor. If “red flags” are (or should have been) detected, the brokerage firm has a regulatory responsibility to take corrective action in order to protect the investor.

Brokerage firms are also responsible for monitoring the outside business activities of their financial advisors. For example, if a financial advisor is involved in a privately held business outside of the normal course and scope of his or her employment, the brokerage firm is responsible for ensuring that the financial advisor does not involve customers of the brokerage firm in any such outside business activity whether it be for investment purposes, lending, etc. Such conduct is referred to as “selling away” and is strictly prohibited by FINRA rules and the internal policies of brokerage firms.

The failure to effectively create and implement a reasonable system of supervision violates FINRA rules and may form the basis of a cause of action.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse has become a focal point for state and federal regulators in the securities industry. Many states have formed task forces and enhanced existing anti-fraud statutes to address the concerns attendant to the exploitation of an aging “baby boom” population. Elderly clients and senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to financial misconduct and crimes. Elder abuse may involve unsuitable investment activity, unauthorized trading, breaches of fiduciary duty, excessive trading, or broker theft. It is critical that you closely monitor your account statements and confirmations for unusual or unauthorized trade activity.

Selling Away

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) strictly prohibits financial advisors from selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a financial advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the financial advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the financial advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.

The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a financial advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the financial advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.

Ponzi Scheme

A ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scheme whereby the operator generates returns for older investors through revenue paid by new investors, rather than from legitimate business activities or profit of financial trading. Operators of Ponzi schemes can be either individuals or corporations, and grab the attention of new investors by offering short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent.

Companies that engage in Ponzi schemes focus all of their energy into attracting new clients to make investments. Ponzi schemes rely on a constant flow of new investments to continue to provide returns to older investors. When this flow runs out, the scheme falls apart.

Broker Theft

Unfortunately, there are many financial advisors that engage in criminal activity under the auspices of providing legitimate financial advice. Broker theft has become more pronounced in accounts owned by elderly clients. The most common example of broker theft occurs when a financial advisor withdraws money from a client’s account for his or her own personal use. Often times these withdrawals are accompanied by false promises to repay the money owed at a point in the future.

It is strictly prohibited for a financial advisor to borrow money from a client or, worse yet, steal money from a client without his or her knowledge.

Margin and Other Securities-Based Lending

Margin is an account feature that most brokerage firms offer to their customers whereby the customer can borrow money against the value of their securities portfolio. The borrowed money can either be used to purchase additional securities or, in some cases, withdrawn for personal use.

Most brokerage firms allow customers to borrow money using margin. Margin is essentially a loan from your brokerage firm that is secured by the value of your investment portfolio. You pay the brokerage firm interest on the amount you borrow. The amount of margin interest paid by you to the brokerage firm becomes a second profit center. In addition, to the extent margin is used to purchase additional securities, it creates the opportunity for the brokerage firm and financial advisor to earn additional commissions.

The amount of money borrowed is collateralized by the investments held in the account. While using margin carries the potential to enhance an investor’s return, it also magnifies the risk in the account. If the securities that collateralize the margin loan decline in value, the investor may experience a margin or maintenance call. In the event of a margin or maintenance call, the investor must either deposit additional assets into the account or liquidate securities to reduce or altogether eliminate the margin balance.

There are significant risks inherent in the use of securities backed lending through margin or lines of credit. In fact, investing on margin is a speculative investment strategy and is suitable for a limited number of investors who fully understand and appreciate the aforementioned risk factors.

How Much Is Your Investment Loss Case Worth? Call (800) 931-8452

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Meet Securities and Investment Fraud Lawyer Matt Wolper

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The Wolper Law Firm is a client focused law firm devoted to recovering investment losses on behalf of aggrieved investors.  We pursue claims nationwide and in all forums, including arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (AAA) and JAMS.  We also pursue claims in state and federal courts.

When choosing a law firm to represent you in the recovery of investment losses, it is important that you choose an experienced attorney that is willing and capable of taking your case through the trial phase.  We take cases to trial, and we prepare each one accordingly from the start. We have the experience, judgment, and vision to develop the arguments that result in favorable outcomes.  It is our mission to build a deep and trusting relationship with our clients and become your partners in the process.

For nearly fourteen years, Matt Wolper, the managing principal of the Wolper Law Firm, was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented the largest banks and brokerage firms on Wall Street.  This experience and pedigree gives the Wolper Law Firm a competitive advantage.

If you have experienced investment losses, and believe that those losses are as a result of poor investment advice, the Wolper Law Firm invites you to call or visit for a free consultation to tell us your story.  In turn, we will provide you with an honest case evaluation and help you determine your best course of action.

Additional Office Locations (*by appointment only)

Atlanta
3355 Lenox Road
Suite 7
Atlanta, GA 30326

Dallas
3102 Maple Ave.
Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75201

Denver
7900 E. Union Ave.
Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80237
Indianapolis
13295 N. Illinois St.
Suite 314
Indianapolis, IN 46032

Irvine
2600 Michelson Drive
Suite 1700
Irvine, CA 92612

Naperville
1700 Park Street
Suite 103
Naperville, IL 60563 New York City
275 Madison Avenue
Suite 705
New York, NY 10016

Portland
5933 NE Win Sivers Drive
Suite 205
Portland, OR 97220

Seattle
1001 Fourth Ave.
#3200
Seattle, WA 98154

Main Office – Fort Lauderdale

1250 S. Pine Island Road
Suite 325
Plantation, FL 33324
Phone: (800) 931-8452
(954)-406-1231    We represent clients nationwide, including, but not limited to: Miami, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Stuart, St. Petersburg, Vero Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, Charlotte, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Fargo, Atlanta, Little Rock, Newark and St. Louis

Now is the time to talk to an investment loss recovery lawyer. We can help recover your investment loss. Free consultations, always.

Main Office - Fort Lauderdale

1250 S. Pine Island Road
Suite 325
Plantation, FL 33324
Phone: (800) 931-8452
(954)-406-1231

We represent clients nationwide, including, but not limited to: Miami, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Stuart, St. Petersburg, Vero Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, Charlotte, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Fargo, Atlanta, Little Rock, Newark and St. Louis

Additional Office Locations (by appointment only)

Atlanta

3355 Lenox Road
Suite 7
Atlanta, GA 30326

Indianapolis

13295 N. Illinois St.
Suite 314
Indianapolis, IN 46032

New York City

275 Madison Avenue
Suite 705
New York, NY 10016

Dallas

3102 Maple Ave.
Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75201

Irvine

2600 Michelson Drive
Suite 1700
Irvine, CA 92612

Portland

5933 NE Win Sivers Drive
Suite 205
Portland, OR 97220

Denver

7900 E. Union Ave.
Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80237

Naperville

1700 Park Street
Suite 103
Naperville, IL 60563

Seattle

1001 Fourth Ave.
#3200
Seattle, WA 98154

We represent clients nationwide, including, but not limited to: Miami, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa, Stuart, St. Petersburg, Vero Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, Charlotte, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Fargo, Atlanta, Little Rock, Newark and St. Louis