What is Investment Fraud?
Fraud comes in many forms. Insurance fraud, computer fraud, charity fraud, and precious metals fraud are all types of fraud that thousands of Americans fall victim to every year. But what about investment fraud? How can you tell if you have become a victim of this type of fraud?
It can be almost impossible to tell when you have been a victim of investment fraud until it is too late. Unlike more direct forms of stealing, such as robbery, fraud operates on the willing participation of the victim. In other words, fraudsters rely on deception to take their victims’ money. The typical investment fraud scheme works like this: the victim is presented with an opportunity to invest his or her money, generally into a stock. This opportunity may be presented with exaggerated or fraudulent claims, such as a guarantee that the stock will make the investor three times what he or she invested. In some cases, the fraud that occurs is more than just one individual stock. It is instead a financial adviser or broker intentionally making investments that will benefit him or herself, rather than the investor.
In the United States, the Securities Exchange Commission handles all claims of investment and securities fraud. If you have a securities claim regarding a violation of federal law, the commission may investigate your claim. If you feel you have been taken advantage of by your stockbroker, do not wait to contact an attorney and begin the process of taking legal action.
Resolving Investment Fraud Claims
If your claim is against a stockbroker or financial adviser, the contract you signed with this party might include an arbitration clause. If this is the case, your claim will be resolved through arbitration. Most securities arbitration cases are overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
If this is not the case, you may file a lawsuit against the offending party. Talk to an experienced securities attorney to determine if this is the right option for you. If you take this route, you will need to undergo the discovery process to determine your current financial standing and how the fraud you suffered affected it. This process requires you to present all tax returns, employment and education history, and documentation of your interactions with the other party involved in your claim to your attorney.
Your case may then go to court. Whether your case goes to court or must be resolved through arbitration, it is important that you work with an attorney who understands investment fraud and how this type of case typically progresses. Your attorney can explain the terms of your brokerage contract to you in concise, understandable language and guide you through the resolution process.
Investment Fraud Attorneys in Winter Park, Florida
If you have been a victim of investment fraud, do not simply accept your loss. You could be able to file a lawsuit against the offender and get your money back. Call the Hornsby Law Group at 407-499-8887 in Winter Park or visit us on the web to schedule your initial legal consultation with one of the attorneys at our firm.