Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer
Has Your Stockbroker Cheated You?
Our Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer Pursues Repayment of Losses
You trusted your stockbroker to help you grow your money through investments, but instead your broker’s fraudulent conduct resulted in significant losses in your portfolio. If your stockbroker put his or her financial interests before yours, an experienced stockbroker fraud lawyer from Wolper Law Firm may be able to hold them to account for your lost money. If we take on your case, we’ll do everything possible to obtain full repayment of your losses.
When a stockbroker, brokerage firm, financial planner, or financial planning institution prioritizes their own profits above the potential returns of their investors, investors lose. In fact, it often isn’t until the investor loses a significant amount of money that the scheme is discovered. These brokers and financial advisors can be held accountable in arbitration or litigation for defrauding their investors. And our attorneys, who have 30 years of experience in securities law between them, are always ready to take cases through the trial phase when necessary to achieve the appropriate outcome.
If you have reason to believe your stockbroker has defrauded you. You can ensure that they pay for their misconduct. Contact our experienced stockbroker fraud attorneys at Wolper Law Firm for help. Get a free consultation by calling us at 800.931.8452.
Get Legal Help from an Investment Fraud Lawyer With a Reputation for Recovery. We Have Won Money in Over 95% of Cases We’ve Handled and Recovered Millions for Investors Like You.
How to Know If Your Stockbroker Is Defrauding You
Our Stockbroker Fraud Attorneys Can Help You Learn the Truth
It can be difficult to tell whether your stockbroker has been engaging in misconduct in your accounts. Hopefully, by keeping a close eye on your accounts and transactions, you’ll be able to prevent losses caused by stockbroker fraud. However, if you notice any of the following happening in your accounts, there is a strong possibility you have been or are being defrauded:
- Large losses or gains when you asked for little risk in an investment
- Unauthorized transactions in your accounts
- Transactions you don’t understand
- Low or no returns when similar investments have yielded high returns or gains
- An overall decline in the value of your account
- Considerable securities purchased on margin
- Dramatic changes in the composition of your investment portfolio
- An influx of trade confirmations
- The majority of your investment portfolio being concentrated in one product.
Your stockbroker may have a reasonable explanation for these things. However, if they don’t or if you aren’t comfortable with their explanation, discuss your concerns with our stockbroker fraud attorney.
Why Choose Wolper Law Firm? Experience. Knowledge. Success.
Our team has in-depth understanding into securities investments and the markets. Before going into practice standing up for victims of investment fraud, our attorney spent nearly 15 years defending brokerage firms, which provides astute insight into how the industry operates.
It costs nothing to speak with us and to learn whether you have a strong case. Our firm is proud to offer free, no-obligation consultations to investors who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous stockbrokers.
Don’t let your investments go into a dishonest broker’s pocket. Pick up the phone and call us today at 800.931.8452 or submit our quick contact form below.
In addition to free consultations, we also work on a contingency basis, which means we get paid only when we get you recovery. If you don’t get a recovery, you owe us nothing. But we are pleased to say that our law firm has recovered money in more than 95% of cases. You can see some of our results here.
What Is Stockbroker Fraud?
What many trusting investors don’t realize is that not all stock losses are caused by fluctuations in the stock market or because the investment itself was a poor choice. Sadly, one common way investors lose money is their stockbroker’s fraudulent actions.
There are many different ways that brokers, and the financial institutions that employ them, can take advantage of investors for their own financial gain. Read on to learn more about some common types of stockbroker fraud and what you should do if you have suffered considerable losses on the stock market that you believe may have been due to misconduct.
Common Stockbroker Fraud Schemes
The complexity of the financial markets help brokers disguise your losses as unavoidable risks you took by investing. In reality, the broker is defrauding you. Below are several types of schemes our stockbroker fraud lawyers regularly see.
- Making unsuitable investment recommendations – Your broker has an obligation to make recommendations that align with your investment objectives and risk tolerance. Any investment opportunity that does not help you achieve your goals or is outside of stated risk parameters, and results in substantial losses, could be considered an unsuitable investment.
- Failure to diversify – A lack of portfolio diversification is one of the worst mistakes a stockbroker can make. You’ve heard the phrase “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Lack of diversification is an over concentration of your investment portfolio in one area. It’s very risky, in light of the volatility of the financial markets.
- Failure to supervise – You should be able to trust that your brokerage firm or financial institution is monitoring their staff for fraud, given how frequently it occurs within the industry.
- Selling away – Selling away occurs when a broker sells securities to a client that have not been approved by the brokerage firm. Often times, when a broker is selling away, he or she is selling private securities offerings to a customer in which he or she has a personal, vested interest. Selling away can lead to devastating investment losses because the securities are not properly vetted and are, in most cases, speculative and not suitable for the typical investor.
- Unauthorized trading – If you don’t have a discretionary account and your broker executed transactions in your accounts without your permission, they can be held accountable for unauthorized trading.
- Excessive trading (churning) – Churning, or making an excessive number of trades in an investor’s account, generates high commissions for the broker and can cause massive investment losses.
- Misrepresentation or omission – In an attempt to influence your decision to invest, a broker may leave out pertinent information or mislead you about the opportunity.
- Negligent portfolio management – You turn to a stockbroker because they are supposed to be the experts who understand the markets. But when the professional you trusted is careless or incompetent in managing your portfolio and you suffer large losses, they may be held responsible for their negligence.
These are just a few of the most common types of stockbroker misconduct. While many stockbrokers are honest individuals, there are also a significant number who are not. If you have encountered a dishonest stockbroker who has taken advantage and cost you significant losses, you may be entitled to compensation to recover your money.
Speak with our stockbroker fraud attorneys to discuss the individual details of your case and learn what legal options are available to you. We provide free consultations in a friendly, low-pressure environment.
What to Do if You’re a Victim of Stockbroker Fraud
If you have been a victim of stockbroker fraud, there are several options you may have to seek recovery of your investment losses. The option most commonly chosen by wronged investors is arbitration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or you may be able to sue the stockbroker and their brokerage firm in court. In some situations, negotiating a settlement through mediation may be an option if both sides agree to it. When you work with our stockbroker fraud attorneys, our team will explain the legal options to recover your loses and will be alongside you at every step in the process.
Recover Your Stock Losses in FINRA Arbitration
FINRA is the organization that oversees the conduct of registered stockbrokers and brokerage firms. If FINRA agrees to hear your case in arbitration, you’ll have the chance to hold your stockbroker accountable for their actions. You may recover some or all of the losses you suffered and potentially be additionally compensated for the impact the loss has had on your life.
Our Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer Explains the Process
Here are some basics about how the arbitration process through FINRA works. Arbitration is mandatory among all brokerage firms and financial advisors registered with FINRA. Arbitration is similar to a civil trial, except that you go before an arbitrator or arbitrators instead of a judge or jury. If you’ve lost less than $100,000, your case will come before a one-panel arbitrator. If your losses exceed $100,000, three arbitrators will hear your case and decide the outcome. During arbitration, you and your attorney will present evidence to the arbitrators, as will the respondent, who is the person and/or firm you are making the claim against. The arbitrators will review all the evidence and make a decision.
One thing to point out is that FINRA arbitration decisions are binding, so you cannot appeal them. However, if you win your arbitration case, your broker will be required to repay you for some or all of your stock losses within 30 days of the arbitration decision.
As set forth in FINRA Rule 12206, you have a maximum of six years from the date that the event or occurrence giving rise to the claim (i.e., the stockbroker fraud) occurred to initiate an arbitration claim. For this reason, it is critical that you keep close watch on your accounts for any unusual activities and contact our stockbroker fraud lawyers as soon as you notice any inconsistencies. Don’t risk running out of time to initiate a complaint. Contact our attorneys today.
Reasons to Work with a Stockbroker Fraud Attorney
Sometimes wronged investors wonder if they even need an attorney to go through FINRA arbitration. They may reason that they are already out a lot of money because of the fraud, so why should they give more to an attorney? While you are not required to hire a lawyer, it is to your benefit to do so; here’s why:
- Securities fraud is a very complex area of the law. Attorneys who understand how to bring these types of claims will know how and where to investigate for evidence in order to prove fraud to the arbitrators.
- You can be sure that the stockbroker and brokerage company you have filed a claim against will have their own skillful attorneys there representing them.
- Our stockbroker fraud attorneys work on a contingency basis, so we get paid only if we get you recovery.
Resolving Your Stockbroker Fraud Complaint in a Lawsuit
Suing in court is another possible option for wronged investors in the event an arbitration agreement does not exist. In some cases, such as if your stockbroker is unregistered, you may not be able to use the FINRA arbitration process. On the other hand, many investors sign arbitration agreements when they hire a brokerage firm, which limits them from bringing legal claims in court.
When you go to court, both sides will present their evidence just as they would in arbitration; when all the proceedings are complete, the court will make a ruling in the case. You could be awarded your money and additional compensation, depending on the circumstances, or the ruling could go against you. If you don’t win in trial court, you may be able to appeal to a higher court. Of course, if the ruling goes against the broker and brokerage firm you are suing, they can also appeal the case, which will further delay your getting compensation for your losses.
Once we learn about your situation, our stockbroker fraud lawyers will advise you about the appropriate legal avenue in your case. Our hardworking litigators are always ready, willing and able to take cases through the trial phase. And we don’t back down in the face of fraud that affects the financial well-being of clients and their families.
Mediation and Settlement Negotiations in Stock Fraud Cases
Whether your claim goes to arbitration or to court, a settlement attempt may be made at some point in the process using mediation. Mediation is when a trained and neutral third party seeks to help disputing sides come to an amicable settlement. FINRA offers mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process before going to arbitration or during the arbitration proceedings. Mediation to try and resolve disputes and reach settlements outside of trial may be ordered by a judge. If your claim goes to mediation, we can help you try to come to a fair resolution in settlement negotiations.
Turn to Our Stockbroker Fraud Attorney. We Are Committed to Helping You Get Recovery When Your Financial Well-Being Is at Stake.
If you are interested in learning more about what legal options are available to you after suffering devastating investment losses, reach out to a dedicated investment fraud lawyer at Wolper Law Firm. Call 800.931.8452 or complete the contact form below to schedule your free case review. We understand how difficult it is for you and your family to lose your retirement or other savings to fraud. We will fight for your rights and interests throughout the legal process.
Why Should I Choose Your Law Firm to Handle My Stockbroker Fraud Claim?
When you choose Wolper Law Firm to handle your stockbroker fraud claim, you can be assured that you will work with an attorney who has extensive experience handling investment fraud cases. Here is why we believe you should work with us on your fraud claim:
- Our attorneys have a combined 30 years of experience in securities, both bringing claims for defrauded investors and, previously, defending brokerage firms and their stockbrokers accused of fraud. Our comprehensive experience means that we understand the way brokers think and how brokerage firms operate, which will benefit you because we know how to counter their defenses in arbitration or in court and can stay one step ahead of them.
- We are proud of our track record of success—we have recovered our clients’ money in over 95% of cases.
- We provide personalized and responsive service. You can reach us seven days a week.
- We are members of PIABA, which is an international bar association whose members are committed to representing investors in disputes against brokerage firms, investment advisory firms and other securities industry companies.
- We practice nationwide, so no matter where you live, our stockbroker fraud lawyer can help you take your claim to FINRA arbitration.
Are you still uncertain whether you should contact us? You have nothing to lose. We provide free, no-obligation consultations in a low-pressure environment. Should you decide to hire our firm, you may be happy to know that our stockbroker fraud lawyers work on contingency, which means you don’t pay us anything unless we get you a recovery.
Speak with Our Well-Qualified Stockbroker Fraud Attorneys. We Are Standing By to Provide a Free, No-Obligation Consultation.
Although you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of pursuing arbitration or other legal action, unless you do so you may not stand a chance to ever recover your investment losses, which may greatly affect your retirement or other future plans and goals. When you work with Wolper Law Firm, our responsive stockbroker fraud attorneys will seek to make the process as low-stress for you as possible. We will provide one-on-one guidance and be at your side to guide and represent you throughout the proceedings.
Your initial consultation is free; and if we don’t win your case, you pay nothing, because our stockbroker fraud attorney works on a contingency basis. Give us a call today at 800.931.8452 to learn how we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Get Answers from Our Stockbroker Fraud LawyersStockbroker fraud is confusing. It can be hard to believe that the person you hired to protect and grow your retirement savings or other investment is actually cheating you out of your money in order to enrich themselves. When you’ve been the victim of a dishonest stockbroker, you probably have many questions about the situation and your legal options. Our stockbroker fraud attorneys address here some of the most common questions we get from wronged investors. For answers to your individual questions and concerns, reach out to our law firm today.
Is stock fraud a felony?
Is stock fraud a felony? The answer to this question is yes, it can be. Stock fraud, which is considered a “white collar” crime, may be prosecuted either as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon all the circumstances involved. Stock fraud is often prosecuted as a federal crime, but it may also be prosecuted at the state level or at both the state and federal levels. People convicted of stock fraud may lose their broker license, pay civil penalties and hefty fines, and be sentenced to prison time in criminal cases. Under 18 U.S. Code Section 1348, people who commit criminal securities fraud may spend up to 25 years in prison for a single charge.
Who investigates fraud in the stock market?
There isn’t a single agency that investigates fraud in the stock market. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is the federal agency regulating the industry, investigates cases of stock fraud and may work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in criminal cases of stock fraud. State agencies also investigate stock fraud. FINRA’s Enforcement Department investigates alleged stock fraud and takes disciplinary actions against stockbrokers and brokerage firms that are determined to have committed fraud. When you believe your broker has committed fraud against you and cost you substantial money, we can help you determine what steps to take to potentially recoup your losses and hold the broker and their firm accountable. Call Wolper Law Firm today to speak with an experienced stockbroker fraud lawyer by dialing 800.931.8452.
How can I prevent a stockbroker from defrauding me?
If you’ve already been defrauded by your broker, you can prevent future fraud by holding them accountable through FINRA arbitration or a lawsuit. If you aren’t sure whether fraud is taking place and want to prevent it from happening, there are several things you can do, starting with regular review of your account statements. People who don’t pay careful attention to their statements are most often the investors who are victims of fraud. Look for frequent activity or activity that you haven’t approved in a non-discretionary account.
How do I know if a stockbroker is defrauding me?
Pay attention for red flags during interactions with your broker. Do they offer you low-risk, high-reward investments that seem too good to be true? Do you feel as if they are trying to rush or pressure you into investing in a particular stock or mutual fund? Or is the investment they are presenting to you so complicated that you can’t understand it? These can all be signs that your broker is acting fraudulently. When you are looking for a new stockbroker and brokerage firm, you can get licensing and other background information by visiting FINRA BrokerCheck and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website.
What kind of evidence will I need to show to prove that I was defrauded?
Whether your case goes to arbitration or civil litigation, you’ll need powerful evidence to persuade the arbitrators or judge that you were defrauded by your stockbroker. Evidence could include account statements showing transactions, written notes about in-person or telephone conversations with your broker, emails, text messages, witness statements and other things. As soon as you suspect you are losing money to fraud, reach out to a stockbroker fraud lawyer. Proving broker and brokerage fraud is a very complex undertaking. The brokerage firm will have legal counsel representing them who are highly knowledgeable about stock market investing and highly experienced at defending brokerage companies from fraud accusations. To have the best chance of success, you will need your own well-versed stockbroker fraud attorneys on your side. Our team will identify and gather the evidence to build the strongest case possible.