Securities fraud is a broad term encompassing the illegal actions of just about anyone in the complex structure that makes up the financial industry. From misselling and misrepresentation to insider trading and a variety of fraudulent investment schemes, plus many more examples besides, there are many potential ways for investors to be caught out and misled.
Fortunately, many finance professionals are fully aware of the regulations surrounding their activities and are committed to acting appropriately. However, whether through negligence or intent, there is also always a chance that their actions not only become illegal but also result in substantial losses for their clients.
If you have suffered investment losses and you believe they resulted not from natural market movements but unethical or illegal practices, you should contact a Florida securities fraud lawyer.
Speak To a Florida Securities Fraud Attorney from Zamansky LLC
No matter what form it takes, securities fraud is illegal. As such, a highly-regarded law firm with a reputation for getting clients what they deserve should be your first port of call. If you’re in Florida, we firmly believe that there is no better choice than Zamansky LLC.
With an office in the heart of Miami and another on Wall Street, we combine the personal touch with daily exposure to the latest developments and trends in the financial sector. We back that with decades of combined experience in securities litigation and underpin our commitment to clients by taking the vast majority of cases on a contingency basis.
Whether you suspect foul play or have lost money on an investment for reasons that have already made the news and are ready to take action, we’re standing by to help. Call the Zamansky LLC offices now for a free consultation at 212-742-1414.
Examples of Securities Fraud
The importance of identifying and acting upon securities fraud cannot be overstated. While most investors accept that markets can go down as well as up and that there is no such thing as a sure thing in the financial world, it is vital to remain vigilant in case the reasons behind those losses were not organic.
Securities fraud can take on many forms in Florida, much as it can anywhere in the world, where people can seek guidance from financial advisors and other professionals and suffer investment losses as a result.
In some cases, you certainly do not need a law degree to identify Wall Street misconduct. For example, if your investment portfolio drops without warning overnight and on the back of no obvious news, there are questions to be asked of your brokerage firm. However, many cases of securities fraud can be difficult to spot, even by trained professionals, and might take months or even years to play out.
Typically, securities fraud causes individuals to lose money and, in some cases, even lose their life savings. This could be anything from misunderstanding or neglecting an investor’s risk tolerance to a broad, highly organized scheme designed to defraud investors from the outset.
The relationship between an investor and their broker involves significant levels of trust, and clients are within their rights to expect their broker to respect the fiduciary duty they have. However, they can be considered the first potential point of failure in any securities transaction, as they often receive client money before it reaches the open market.
If a broker makes trades that a client has not permitted, either directly or as part of an ongoing agreement, they could be considered to have been involved in unauthorized trading. They can potentially also commit fraud in numerous other ways, such as providing false information to clients, manipulating margin accounts, or even letting their license expire.
Investment Fraud by Financial Advisors
It is important to understand the difference between brokers and investment advisors. A broker is responsible for executing trades on behalf of clients and typically takes a fee, such as a percentage of the investment amount, in return. However, securities fraud can also potentially begin at the advisory level.
Many investors seek out a financial advisor to provide professional assistance in the often difficult world of investing. They have a fiduciary duty to advise on suitable investments, take account of risk tolerance, and potentially even identify Ponzi schemes and other types of fraud on behalf of clients. Such is the close link between advisors and their clients that, in some cases, a financial professional can become responsible for a client’s entire life savings.
Even experienced financial advisors can get things wrong. The markets simply would not work if they were entirely predictable, and it is possible to lose money organically. However, poor advice given to clients through negligence or in an effort to artificially boost commissions is sufficient reason to speak to securities fraud attorneys.
This covers most types of investments. An advisor may have recommended a stock that sits wildly outside a person’s risk comfort zone, not because it was suitable for their portfolio but because it paid high commissions. Likewise, they may have recommended variable annuities to investors when they had their own suspicions about the underlying assets.
The financial industry is complex, and while investors may not have direct contact with all of them, many different parties may be directly involved in whether a specific investment makes money. This goes far beyond brokers and investment advisors.
For example, if you invest in a company’s stock, you place trust in those running the company to work in the best interests of stockholders like you – something they have a fiduciary duty to do. Likewise, investors that put their money into variable annuities rely not only on professional investment advice from the person that sells it to them but the annuity owner’s ability to select the underlying assets that will enable the investment to thrive.
When everything works properly, it can be highly profitable. However, there are also many potential points of failure for investments, such as insider trading.
Investors should note that insider trading is not always illegal. Senior executives are considered insiders, and many are also investors in their own right, using their own money to back the company’s ongoing success. As long as they keep up with their commitments involving filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a timely manner, the activities of these insiders are considered legal.
However, when an individual buys or sells stock based on non-public information and fails to disclose it, they are guilty of insider trading. This can directly impact investors and their money through fluctuations in the stock price, but can also have broader consequences, especially with penalties potentially including fines and jail time, not to mention the reputation hit most companies experience.
Ponzi schemes have managed to gain mainstream notoriety, as discussed in further detail below. Such is the cultural impact of the actions of Charles Ponzi, Lou Perlman, and other financial figures that even someone that claims no knowledge of what securities fraud entails would have some knowledge of these schemes.
In simple terms, Ponzi schemes pay returns to existing investors using the funds invested by new ones as opposed to paying out of profits earned through the operations of a business. In relevant terms, this is a classic example of investment fraud and is highly illegal.
The Role of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
If you have suffered financial losses due to securities fraud, you should speak to a Florida securities lawyer before entering securities arbitration against brokerage firms. This is due to the role of FINRA, which often takes precedence over pursuing brokers, investment advisors, and other financial professionals through the traditional court system.
Most firms include clauses in their terms and conditions compelling clients only to take action against them through an arbitration process overseen by FINRA. Clients are legally obliged to respect this arrangement, even in cases where the company or individual has been accused of investment fraud.
Unsurprisingly, it is always preferable to appoint an investment fraud attorney with experience in representing investors throughout the arbitration. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority holds its members to extremely high standards. This means that anyone seeking financial recovery following securities fraud should not be overly worried about facing financial institutions in arbitration or mediation. Of course, the process becomes far less daunting when suitably supported by experienced securities attorneys.
The Benefits of Speaking to an Experienced Florida Securities Attorney
As noted, it can take months or years for official confirmation that securities fraud has taken place. Bernie Madoff is responsible for making Ponzi schemes widely known outside the securities industry. He was first arrested in December 2008, while questions over the viability of his firm and its actions were first raised in 1999. Even then, the scheme only truly unraveled when Madoff’s sons alerted authorities.
This illustrates the importance of paying attention to your investments, even if you trust the investment advice you receive and the investment advisers that give it. Something as simple as browsing an annual statement over a coffee for signs of inconsistencies and monitoring investment activity for churning can be the difference between a financial recovery and significant financial loss.
If you believe something may not be as it seems, and even if you do not necessarily have solid proof of anything, it is worth consulting a Florida securities fraud attorney.
They can help cast a critical eye over accounts and advise clients of any potential claims. They can also draw on their significant experience. Securities fraud occurs in many different ways, with just some of them outlined above. An experienced attorney will be aware of industry rules and how they apply to your financial situation and can apply a different perspective to your suspicions.
A Florida securities attorney will also have broader insight that may apply to your case. From rumblings on Wall Street to multiple individual investors leveling accusations at the same financial adviser or brokerage firm, robust connections throughout the financial services industry can help protect any investment in a timely manner.
Why Choose Zamansky LLC to Litigate Against Brokerage Firms?
If you have suffered an investment loss and it was due to securities fraud, you need the right professional support. That means speaking to a skilled, experienced securities fraud lawyer in Florida that will treat you as an individual and ensure that you can benefit from both their past experience and their passion for identifying the latest trends.
After all, what might now be considered unsuitable investments were sold as suitable investments at some point in time, which is what often gives rise to potential claims. While not always the case, the sooner you can identify an issue with your investments, the better the chance of avoiding financial losses.
Fortunately, even if those losses come to pass, all is not lost, and our securities fraud attorneys will support and guide investors as they take action to hold those at fault responsible.
Perfectly Positioned Securities Fraud Attorneys in Florida
If you are looking for a securities fraud attorney in Florida, you need someone local. With an office in Miami, our attorneys are right on your doorstep to provide the personal touch. This has its advantages, not least if your case goes through FINRA arbitration. If the dispute goes all the way through to a hearing, it will take place in person. As such, you want to work with a lawyer that can represent victims by standing alongside them in the arbitration forum.
Beyond that, Zamansky LLC is a nationwide practice. Our head office is based in the heart of Wall Street, ensuring that our team always has its collective finger on the pulse of the latest developments in the securities industry.
Law is a profession where those that practice it must be open to always learning and staying on top of the news. By covering Wall Street and Florida, we strike an unrivaled balance between our ability to represent investors and stay up to date on the latest developments in securities fraud.
Over Sixty Years Combined Experience in Securities Fraud Litigation
While it is vital to look to the future for the latest investment strategies and signs of fiduciary duty breaches, it is also impossible to overlook the benefit of experience.
A securities lawyer in Florida from our firm will provide the best of both, ensuring that all our clients benefit from thousands of hours spent on litigation, arbitration, and mediation. They are not only familiar with federal and state law and how it impacts the financial services industry but have put it into practice many times.
This balance means that whether investment advisors have come up with new, illicit ways to profit from clients or financial advisors decide to repeat the same tricks that we have seen many times over the years, we can spot inconsistencies and act decisively.
A Genuine Commitment to Every Case
Something that really sets our firm apart from many others is the fact that we are always transparent, honest, and invested in your success. From the free consultation and initial evaluation through due diligence and ultimately in front of a judge or arbitrator, we keep clients informed and provide advice to give them the best chance of success.
Many investors that have suffered investment losses and decided to speak to us, as a result, will find that we work most cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that when we take a case, we have every confidence that individual investors will achieve the settlement they desire, and we will do everything possible to ensure that happens.
Zamansky LLC – Your Securities Litigation Law Firm
Our team represents clients with expertise and passion, and our securities fraud lawyers understand that no two cases are ever exactly the same. That is why we work to provide legal context and a personal touch, ensuring that our clients recover from their financial loss and that those responsible face consequences for broker misconduct, unauthorized trading activity, or anything else that caused those losses.
As noted above, investors stand the best chance of protecting their money when they act quickly. Remember, most cases we handle at Zamansky LLC are taken on a contingency basis, so when we say that you stand a great chance of recovering any money lost due to securities fraud, we mean it sincerely.
If you need clarity on your legal situation or have suffered losses and are ready to commence securities fraud litigation immediately, call our law practice today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 212-742-1414.