Although investment losses may seem straightforward initially, they frequently encompass a complex web of legal and regulatory intricacies. An investment fraud attorney from our law firm will review your legal options. If you have a good claim, we will work to protect your financial well-being.
Some common investment misconduct claims we represent include:
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Asset allocation
- Failure to supervise
- Unauthorized trading
When choosing a securities fraud attorney for your case, consider their success. Our legal team has helped thousands of clients since 1999 and recovered over $350 million. Led by industry-renowned trial attorneys, we've also been named among The Best Lawyers in America® by U.S. News. Call us today to protect your financial security.
What Is Investment Fraud?
Investment fraud (or securities fraud) is a white-collar crime that refers to deceptive practices employed by individuals or entities in the financial industry that exploit investors' trust for personal gain.
Specifically, for the typical client demographic of our firm, investment fraud usually occurs when you entrust life savings to a financial advisor who you believe will provide you with appropriate and suitable recommendations.
Unfortunately, our clients often approach us after experiencing substantial portfolio losses. If you suspect that you may be the victim of investment fraud or misconduct, contact our experienced securities lawyers to learn if you have a valid case.
Investment Advisers: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Advisers play a crucial role in managing and advising on your investment portfolios (which could include bonds, stocks, and mutual funds). As fiduciaries, they are responsible for acting in your best interests, prioritizing your financial well-being over their own.
Every investment adviser has certain fiduciary duties they must uphold for clients, which include always acting in a client's best interest, a duty of care, and a duty of loyalty. When these are breached, you may hold the adviser liable for the resulting losses.
Has your adviser used fraud, misconduct, or manipulation for personal benefit without considering your best interests? This could constitute a breach of fiduciary duty, and you may have a legal claim to recover your investment losses.
Regulatory bodies and legal measures are in place to hold those advisers who breach their fiduciary duty accountable. Our investment fraud lawyers will protect your rights and represent your best interest.
We Represent Investors Nationwide in Securities Arbitration and Litigation
Our law firm proudly represents investors nationwide in securities arbitration and litigation cases. We understand the complexities and challenges faced by investors who have suffered financial losses due to fraudulent practices in the securities industry.
We see each case as unique and always develop a tailored legal strategy for each client. We take the time to familiarize ourselves with your situation, understand your goals, and then highlight the best path to pursue in your case. However, the final decision will be yours.
Our dedicated team of experienced securities fraud attorneys is committed to advocating for investors and helping them navigate the legal landscape. We stand by our clients nationwide, ensuring their voices are heard.
When disputes arise between investors and brokerage firms or associated individuals, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration provides a forum for resolving these conflicts. Unlike traditional court litigation, it offers a streamlined and efficient alternative, aiming to provide a fair and quick resolution.
The process often looks very much like a court case - filing a claim, conducting discovery, and presenting evidence to a panel of arbitrators who then reach a binding decision. FINRA arbitration can be an accessible avenue for individual investors seeking redress for financial losses. Since the decision is final, legal representation is crucial to protect your interests and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
If you are considering this alternative dispute resolution, we will help you prepare. With FINRA arbitration, we aim to resolve disputes through a fair and impartial process. We will seek fair compensation for your losses and hold the responsible party accountable.
In cases where arbitration is not the preferred or available option, we are prepared to pursue litigation in court to protect your rights and seek justice. We understand that each investment misconduct case is unique, and some circumstances may necessitate taking the legal battle to the courtroom.
Our experienced investment fraud attorneys are well-versed in navigating the complexities of litigation and are equipped to handle all aspects of the legal process. From conducting discovery to representing clients in trials, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and pursuing justice.
Understanding the Common Types of Securities Fraud
Securities fraud typically involves bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. To effectively combat misconduct, it is important to understand the common types of fraudulent activities in the securities market.
As experienced lawyers, we have handled a wide range of investment fraud cases. This allowed us to develop a versatile legal approach and the ability to adapt our strategies to the unique circumstances of each case.
Asset Allocation and Failure to Diversify
Asset allocation refers to the strategic distribution of investments across different asset classes. Diversification through stocks and other assets, a key component of the distribution process, involves spreading investments within each asset class to mitigate risk.
However, the failure to diversify, or overconcentration, is a common mistake that can expose you to significant risks. When an investment portfolio lacks diversification, it becomes overly reliant on a single asset or a few assets, increasing vulnerability to market fluctuations.
You may have suffered unnecessary losses if your financial professional did not properly diversify your assets.
Churning Your Securities
This is a deceptive practice within the securities industry where brokers engage in excessive trading in your account to generate steep commissions or fees. The unethical behavior prioritizes the broker's financial gain over the client's best interests.
Churning typically involves frequent buying and selling of securities, often without a valid investment rationale, leading to high transaction costs. This practice generates unnecessary expenses for investors and exposes them to unnecessary risks.
Failure to Execute Your Investment Instructions
When an investor makes a request with their investment firm, the firm is required to comply in a timely manner. Whether due to negligence, technical errors, or intentional misconduct, a failure to execute can undermine investor confidence and harm your financial interests. Failure or refusal to follow your instructions can result in civil liability.
Lack of Agent Supervision
Investment firms must provide diligent supervision over agents to detect and prevent misconduct. If we show the firm failed to supervise their agent properly, and you suffered losses, the investment firm can be liable.
Misrepresentation of Facts Regarding Security or Investment Strategy
A financial professional has a duty to be honest and act in good faith. This includes providing all the features, costs, and risks of a particular security or investment strategy.
You could file a securities fraud claim if a financial professional lies or otherwise omits important information.
Many of the cases we handle involve misrepresentations or omissions of material facts. Brokers and advisers must be clear, open, and honest when giving investment advice or selling a security. It is considered misconduct and a securities law violation for a broker to conceal the truth from you.
Trading on margin (borrowed money using your investments as collateral to the loan) is a highly risky strategy unsuitable for most investors. If a financial expert advised you to use a margin to trade, and you lost money, you could have a claim against them.
Investment firms must act following the standards of care in the industry. When a firm's conduct falls short of that, it can be liable for negligence. A broker negligence lawyer can help you build a strong case against the at-fault party.
The hallmark characteristic of a pyramid scheme, or Ponzi scheme, is that investors are paid "returns" with the money coming in from new investors rather than from operations or profits. How can you know if you were the victim of a fraudulent scheme? Our securities fraud lawyers can help uncover investment scams that harm you.
Investors who lost money in unregistered securities, such as private placements, may have a claim against the entity that sold it. Private placements are highly risky, illiquid, and lack transparency in value. They are inappropriate for the vast majority of retail investors.
Even if your broker has your best interests in mind, they must always ask your permission before buying or selling (unless they have written discretionary trading authorization). Trading that is unauthorized can not only be harmful, but it could also warrant legal action.
Investment professionals, such as financial advisors or brokers, must recommend suitable strategies to clients. When unsuitable investments are recommended, it can lead to significant financial harm for the investor.
You may be at risk when the investment:
- Carries a level of risk that exceeds the investor's tolerance.
- Does not align with the investor's stated goals.
- Is not suitable given the investor's age, financial situation, or investment experience.
The Cost of Hiring Investment Fraud Attorneys
As experienced securities fraud lawyers, we understand that most of our clients contact us when they are in a financially vulnerable position. Since we want to empower victims of investment fraud to seek justice, we work on a contingency fee basis. Our attorneys don't require upfront payment but instead agree to be compensated based on a percentage of the amount recovered.
Taking the fight to some of the biggest companies in the country may feel discouraging. However, we aim to level the playing field by giving you access to our vast resources. With our team by your side, you can rest assured that your voice will be heard.
Consult Our Experienced Investment Fraud Lawyers
Meyer Wilson proudly maintains offices in multiple states, including Ohio, California, Michigan, and Louisiana. While our physical presence extends across these locations, our reach goes beyond regional boundaries. We are dedicated to representing investors throughout the United States in securities arbitration and litigation cases.
At our investment fraud law firm, we deeply appreciate the trust our clients bestow upon us, and we strive to reciprocate by providing exceptional legal service. We leverage our extensive experience and resources to ensure your financial recovery journey is comfortable. Contact our investment fraud attorneys today to get started on your case.