Call Now For a Free Consultation:
(614) 532-4576
Nationwide Representation


Consult with Our Legal Team
There is never a cost associated with a consultation
Common Questions
For The Advocacy You Deserve Contact Us Today!
We’ll respond and let you know the best way to proceed with your case.

Can Your Financial Advisor Steal From You?

Signs Your Financial Advisor Is Stealing

Financial advisors are in positions of trust – they manage our life savings, provide financial advice, and protect our best interests. Or, they are supposed to. While most financial advisors are reliable and trustworthy people, some unscrupulous advisors use their position of trust to take advantage of their customers by stealing customers’ money.

In our firm’s experience representing investors for over 20 years, we have seen theft carried out in a number of different ways, but there are two schemes that occur most often.

1. Asking for a Check

First, in many theft cases, the advisor solicits his or her customers to purchase some type of investment, or engage in some type of business dealings, that requires them writing a check. The check could be made out to the broker or some entity that the broker controls. Instead of using the customer’s money for a legitimate investment or business deal, the advisor diverts the money for his or her own personal use.

2. Unauthorized Withdrawals

Second, advisors who set out to steal from their clients often do so simply by making unauthorized withdrawals from their customers’ investment accounts, either through forgeries, misrepresentations, or some other method of concealment that works for a period of time.

The best thing an investor can do to protect him or herself from theft is to be aware of common fraud tactics and to watch out for the recognized "red flags." Never, ever hand your broker a check payable directly to the broker or his or her own company. You should send your money to the institution that is going to take custody of your money, rather than the person who is selling you the investments.

It’s also important that you keep an eye on your investment account statements to look for potential signs of unauthorized withdrawals. Theft from brokerage accounts directly is unfortunately more prevalent with elderly investors who are more vulnerable due to medical issues or cognitive impairment – so it’s a good idea to follow up on your elderly loved one’s accounts and their withdrawals as well.

3. Confusing or Unclear Payment 

Yes, financial advisors charge for their services - just like anyone else who needs to make a living. That said, you should have clarity on exactly how much you’re paying and how that payment is calculated. If you can’t get a straight answer about how much you’re paying or how it’s calculated, it’s possible your advisor isn’t being honest with you. Additionally, be on the lookout for any charges or fees on your statement that you don’t understand. 

4. Account Title Commingling 

Commingling happens when your advisor adds his or her name next to your own on the title of your account. Any statement you get from the account should have your name and your name alone. If your advisor's name is on it too, it’s possible they have adjoined their own name. When commingling happens, it grants access to the advisor that they shouldn’t have and may allow them to make decisions about your funds without your consent. 

The silver lining is that a person who has suffered financial loss because of theft often has options to recover their hard-earned savings. All brokerage firms have a duty to reasonably supervise their brokers and vigorously investigate red flags. It is our experience that theft cases often leave a trail of missed red flags that were neither adequately identified nor investigated by the brokerage firm.

If you suspect that a broker may have stolen funds from you or a loved one, contact our firm today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.

Atlanta Office

945 East Paces Ferry Road, Suite 2275
Atlanta, GA 30326
Columbus Office

305 W. Nationwide Blvd
Columbus, OH 43215
Meyer Wilson
New Orleans Office

900 Camp Street 
Suite 337
New Orleans, LA 70130
Los Angeles Office

2029 Century Park East,
Suite 400N
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Cleveland Office

4781 Richmond Rd.
Suite 400
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
Bloomfield Hills Office

41000 Woodward Ave.,
Suite 350
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Quick Links
The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. Read More
The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.
Read More
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram