Securities Fraud Attorney
Securities Fraud Attorneys in Naples and Rochester
The Firm has secured substantial customer arbitration settlements and awards against Wall Street firms, including Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Raymond James, RBC, and others.
Our securities fraud attorneys have also successfully represented PONZI scheme victims on many occasions, including the largest single group of investors defrauded by former boy band impresario Lou Pearlman in what was, at the time, the largest Ponzi scheme in the State of Florida, involving losses of over $300 million. In that case, the Firm was able to secure a significant return for those who had lost their life savings investing in Pearlman’s elaborate and illegal scheme.
The Firm has nearly a century of combined experience handling large and complex securities fraud cases and has recovered tens of millions of dollars for investors over the years. If you would like to speak with a securities fraud attorney, you can click here to contact us and setup a free consultation. You have no obligations and we truly want to help point you in the right direction.
Investors Rights Attorneys and Lawyers
Investment advisors, stockbrokers, and brokerage firms are regulated by rules and laws that exist to protect public investors. These rules and laws provide an avenue for investors to recover losses caused by a stockbroker’s wrongdoing. When you pay a stockbroker to manage your assets or otherwise provide investment advice, he or she, in turn, must ensure that the advice is appropriate for your particular circumstances.
For example, if you are a person nearing retirement with a low-risk tolerance, your portfolio should be diverse and have a healthy percentage of its assets in bonds/income investments and, a much lower portion of its assets in equities, that is, stocks. If your stockbroker failed to recommend or purchase suitable investments for your portfolio, and your portfolio lost money, then you would have the right to recover those losses from your stockbroker and brokerage firm, irrespective of market conditions. That is, if the stock market is going down and so is your portfolio, you can recover if you should not have been invested that way in the first place.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has established a procedure for the resolution of investors’ disputes through FINRA sponsored arbitration. Accordingly, investors are required by brokerage firms to sign an arbitration clause in order to open an account. This arbitration process provides investors the opportunity to present their claims before a mutually selected panel of arbitrators whose decision will, absent extraordinary circumstances, be binding on the parties.
Congress has also enacted laws to both protect investors from fraud and provide investors legal rights against brokers and broker dealers. Among those are the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Therefore, if you believe you may have been the victim of an unscrupulous broker, you should consult with our investor attorneys with experience in securities fraud and FINRA arbitration as soon as possible to learn about your specific rights. We do not charge any legal fee to determine whether or not you have a claim. If you do have a claim, typically our firm handles such matters on a contingency basis, meaning that there will be no legal fees charged unless there is a recovery achieved in the case.
Types of Securities and Investment Fraud with which our Securities and Stock Market Loss Attorneys Can Help
Stockbrokers will often sell unsuitable securities, which can result in stock market losses because they personally benefit from the transactions. In the case of REITs and Variable Annuities, discussed below, the stockbroker may receive instantaneous and high commissions he or she could not otherwise achieve from selling the customer suitable securities.
If you believe your broker sold you unsuitable securities, our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys may be able to help you recover.
Stockbrokers tend to downplay the risks and illiquidity of REITs, sometimes going so far as to proclaim that they are safe and protected from losses often seen in the market. However, this is not the case. The reality is that the customer’s inability to sell a REIT means they will not have access to their principal if they need it, nor will they be able to sell the REIT if it underperforms. Indeed, REITs may file for bankruptcy protection just as public corporations may do so, with the exception that the customer has no way to escape a REIT that they believe to be at risk.
If your stockbroker sold you REITs, contact our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys to find out if you can recover.
Because Variable Annuities typically have long holding periods, in which a customer cannot sell without accruing significant penalties, the customer will not have access to the principal investment for five to ten years.
Our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys may be able to help you recover if your stockbroker improperly sold you a Variable Annuity.
A broker is obligated by FINRA rules to recommend or otherwise provide in a managed account, a well-diversified portfolio. If the broker does not do so, whether through intentional securities fraud or through his or her negligence or ignorance, the customer could become the subject of unnecessary stock market losses.
Our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys may be able to help you if your stockbroker failed to adequately diversify your investment portfolio.
A broker may misrepresent the risk of a security or product in order to convince the customer to buy it. This may be ignorance or negligence on the part of a broker, but stockbrokers may also misrepresent the qualities of a security on purpose because they stand to gain from selling it to their customers.
If you believe your broker misrepresented or omitted facts related to a security that he or she recommended, contact our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys to find out if you can recover.
While unauthorized trading can happen through a broker’s negligence, brokers may also trade without receiving authorization in order to churn the customer’s account for their own benefit. Such behavior may cause stock market losses which are the fault of the broker and broker dealer.
If you believe your stockbroker engaged in trading without your permission, contact our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys to find out if you can recover.
FINRA requires brokerage firms to conduct reviews of their brokers’ transactions and communications involving their customers, to properly train their brokers, and to make sure that their customers’ accounts are invested suitably and in their customers’ best interests.
A brokerage firm’s duty to supervise employees is designed to act as a second line of defense – that is – if the broker acts fraudulently or negligently, the brokerage firm has the duty to make sure the broker is stopped before the customer is harmed. However, brokerage firms often fail to adequately supervise their employees, allowing for unnecessary securities and stock market losses to occur in their customers’ accounts.
Excessive trading by the broker creates excessive fees for the customer and accordingly is prohibited by FINRA rules, as well as federal securities laws.
If you believe your stockbroker churned your accounts, our investment loss and securities fraud attorneys to find out if you can recover.
Selling away is prohibited by FINRA rules and our securities fraud attorneys may be able to help you recover if you have been the victim of selling away.
However, sometimes brokers will sell securities which may be unsuitable for the customer and may not be the best investments because it provides the broker more money in commissions or brokerage firm fees. Our securities fraud attorneys may be able to help you bring a claim if your stockbroker failed to act in your best interests and caused you to lose money.
The mere fact that a broker did not have ill intentions does not mean that his or her failure to follow such laws and rules is permissible. Therefore, our securities attorneys may be able to help you recover due to your broker’s negligence.
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