Investment can signify the hope of achieving a comfortable retirement, funding your children’s education, or leaving behind a legacy. When an advisor’s misconduct threatens your investment portfolio, seek immediate legal representation from an investment fraud lawyer serving Tampa, FL, to protect your assets.
At Meyer Wilson, we have been representing investors in their pursuit of justice since 1998. So far, we have served thousands of clients and recovered over $350 million on their behalf. We continue to provide aggressive representation and fight for a maximum settlement with every case. Call a lawyer from our team today to discuss your case.
What Is Investment Fraud?
Investment fraud (or securities) can be a form of white-collar crime encompassing a range of deceptive practices in the financial industry aimed at misleading investors and unlawfully taking their money. Many investors have limited experience with securities and have trusted a stockbroker to guide them in making prudent financial decisions.
Perpetrators of investment fraud may include financial advisors, brokers, or fraudulent investment companies. They often exploit the trust and inexperience of investors by presenting opportunities that seem too good to be true.
How to Recognize the Signs of Investment Misconduct
Deceptive practices employed by brokers can be remarkably sophisticated and designed to appear legitimate at first glance. However, by staying diligent and informed about your investment portfolio, you may notice discrepancies over time.
While investment fraud can take various forms, there are common red flags to be aware of, including:
- Unusually high or guaranteed returns on investments
- Pressure to make quick investment decisions
- Frequent changes in investment advisors or brokers
- Difficulty in accessing or withdrawing funds
- Unregistered or unlicensed investment professionals
If you encounter any of these indicators or have doubts about your investments, seek advice from a trusted financial professional. Recognizing these signs can help you avoid financial pitfalls and secure your future.
Common Types of Investment Fraud Cases We Represent
Meyer Wilson has a track record of handling a wide range of securities fraud cases. Our experienced legal team has successfully represented clients across various investment misconduct scenarios. This allowed us to form a dynamic legal approach. We understand that each case is unique, and we easily adapt our strategies to your specific circumstances.
Unsuitable or Risky Investments
Investment professionals have a fiduciary duty to provide suitable investment recommendations tailored to the individual circumstances of their clients. When they breach this duty and advise clients to invest in products that are too risky or unsuitable for their financial situation, it can result in substantial financial harm.
Excessive Use of Margin
Margin trading allows investors to borrow money to buy securities, effectively leveraging their investments. While margin can be a legitimate and useful tool when used appropriately, it becomes problematic when used excessively and irresponsibly.
In investment fraud cases, brokers may encourage clients to use margin excessively, often without fully disclosing the associated risks.
Risky Private Placements
Private placements involve investing in privately held companies not publicly traded on stock exchanges. While these investments can offer opportunities for high returns, they also come with significant risks.
In some cases, brokers may misrepresent the potential returns, downplay the risks, or fail to provide essential information about the investment. This lack of transparency and the allure of high profits can lead investors to make ill-informed decisions.
This fraudulent strategy involves frequent and unnecessary buying and selling securities within a client’s investment account. The primary objective is not to maximize the client’s returns but to generate commissions for the advisor. Churning often results in substantial trading costs and tax implications, ultimately eroding the investor’s capital.
Recognizing churning can be challenging, as it may appear as though the broker is actively managing the portfolio. However, if you notice a pattern of frequent changes in your investments, seek advice from a securities fraud attorney.
When a financial advisor makes transactions in your investment account without your approval or consent, this qualifies as unauthorized trading. This unethical practice disregards your investment objectives, often driven by the broker’s desire to generate commissions.
As a Victim of Investment Fraud, You Can Pursue Financial Recovery
Investment fraud can have a profound impact on your financial well-being, but you don’t have to face these challenges alone. By taking proactive steps and seeking legal assistance, you can work towards recovering the losses you’ve incurred due to fraudulent or deceptive practices.
The majority of investment fraud cases are resolved through arbitration facilitated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). During the process, both parties involved can present their version of events before a panel of impartial arbitrators. These professionals will review all the evidence presented and make a binding decision.
A securities fraud attorney will help you navigate the arbitration process and present a compelling case. They will help gather all relevant documents and proof to show the extent of your losses.
While securities fraud claims rarely end up in court, it is worth mentioning that this is also an option when arbitration is not possible. In this scenario, you would have to file a lawsuit against the defendant to recover your financial losses.
Engaging in securities litigation without legal representation is risky and could jeopardize your chances of a successful outcome. A securities fraud lawyer will protect your rights throughout the process and represent your best interests.
Our Investment Fraud Attorneys Serving Tampa, FL, Will Protect Your Rights
At Meyer Wilson, we provide personalized, results-driven representation. Our legal team understands the unique challenges that investors face when dealing with fraudulent practices, and we tailor our legal strategies to each client’s specific circumstances.
If you suspect investment misconduct in your portfolio, seek immediate legal representation. An investment fraud lawyer serving Tampa, FL, will help you hold the at-fault party accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation.