Investment brokers and financial advisors must adhere to all applicable laws and regulations when handling their clients’ money. Failure to do so can leave them liable for any losses their clients endure. If you suffered losses caused by securities fraud, an experienced securities fraud lawyer can help you recover compensation.
At Meyer Wilson, we keep up to date with all the changes made to securities fraud state laws in Florida. Over the past 25 years, we have helped countless fraud victims recover compensation. Get in touch today by completing our online contact form or giving us a call, and schedule your free consultation with one of our investment fraud lawyers serving Florida.
Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act
Florida’s laws regarding securities fraud are outlined in the Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act. Actions prohibited under these statutes include:
- Employing a device, scheme, or artifice in the act of defrauding an investor
- Obtaining money or property through the use of a false or misleading statement
- Obtaining money or property by omitting information
- Engaging in a transaction, practice, or course of business that uses fraud or deceit against another party
When any of these actions are carried out in connection with offering investment advice or in the course of carrying out an offer, sale, or purchase of an investment or security by a broker, financial advisor, or other party, they are in violation of Florida law.
Any action taken which willfully spreads false information about an investment is considered a form of fraud. Likewise, any statements about an investment that omit critical information that causes the statement to be misleading are considered fraudulent.
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Examples of Securities Fraud in Florida
Under Florida law, a variety of actions can constitute securities fraud. Securities fraud committed by a financial advisor or investment broker can be committed on a small level against a single investor or on a much larger scale against dozens or even hundreds of investors.
One of the most prevalent forms of securities fraud is the Ponzi scheme. In a Ponzi scheme, a fraudster takes funds invested by new investors to pay returns to older investors. By doing so, they make it seem like the investment is profitable as long as they are able to keep attracting new investors based on their supposed track record of securing large returns for their clients.
Every Ponzi scheme eventually falls apart as the money from new investors will inevitably reach a point where it is not enough to pay out the returns of the growing number of old investors expecting returns. However, reaching this point can sometimes take years, and the number of victims and the amount defrauded can reach extreme heights.
With a pump-and-dump scheme, a fraudster will artificially inflate the price of a specific stock or investment through recommendations that use false or misleading information about an investment to encourage others to invest. Once they have driven the price of the security up significantly, the fraudster will sell off all their shares, causing the price to collapse.
Those who have invested in the security based on the information received from the fraudster can end up suffering significant financial losses, while the fraudster walks away with a hefty profit.
Of course, securities fraud can take many other forms as well. Any action taken by a broker or financial advisor with the intention of defrauding another party for personal gain is considered a form of investment fraud. If you fell victim to fraud, an experienced securities fraud lawyer can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Criminal Penalties for Securities Fraud in Florida
Any violation of Florida securities fraud laws is considered a third-degree felony. Potential penalties for a conviction can include:
- Up to five years in prison
- A fine of up to $5,000
For more severe offenses, the criminal penalties can increase significantly. For example, anyone who obtains more than $50,000 in total from five or more people is guilty of a first-degree felony. Potential penalties for a conviction of this offense include:
- Up to 30 years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
Habitual offenders can face enhanced penalties and may be subject to mandatory minimum prison sentences.
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Civil Penalties for Securities Fraud in Florida
In addition to criminal penalties, a financial advisor who violates Florida securities fraud state laws can also face FINRA arbitration cases or civil lawsuits from those they have defrauded. If you were the victim of securities fraud in Florida, you may be able to recover damages from your financial advisor or the firm that employs them.
An experienced investment fraud lawyer can help you identify what type of fraud was committed and hold the liable party responsible.
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Reach Out to an Experienced Securities Fraud Attorney Serving Florida Today
If you fell victim to securities fraud and suffered significant financial losses, recovering compensation from the liable party can prove critical. At Meyer Wilson, our award-winning team can help you get the money you deserve. With over 75 years of combined experience, we have successfully recovered more than $350 million for our clients.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team. You can reach us by phone or by completing our online contact form.
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