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Whether it’s a small individual investor or a high net-worth investor, there are a number of risks they face when deciding how and where to invest their money. In these situations, it’s imperative the broker they work with be someone whose trust and honesty are impeccable. Yet time after time, investors find themselves the victims of securities fraud. In these cases, not only are large amounts of money lost, but the lives of countless investors are forever changed. One example of securities fraud, is when a large pool of money is raised – for example a hard money loan fund, and the funds are stolen. For some investors their retirement accounts are wiped out, while in other situations parents may realize they will not be able to send their children to college. No matter the circumstances, those whose money and dreams have disappeared deserve proper legal representation. If you have been the victim of an unscrupulous broker or corporation that withheld information or provided inaccurate information about investments, you need the services of a knowledgeable and experienced securities fraud lawyer.
Effects of Securities Fraud
When securities fraud occurs, there are a number of things that can happen. For example, if a corporation provides misleading information about inflated earnings, it has committed stock fraud. However, once the truth is revealed to the public, it can cause the financial markets to react negatively. When this happens, stock prices tend to fall, leading to numerous investors losing much if not all of their money. Because these actions violate state and federal securities laws, investors are entitled to pursue legal action against those who misled them on their investments.
Who Can Be Sued?
In many instances, clients may become part of a class-action lawsuit against a company or its officers and directors. However, some investors choose to simply sue a broker or financial manager who committed securities fraud against them. For example, if a broker pressured you into making a certain investment or over-promised results from an investment, it is generally a sign the broker may be involved in illegal activities concerning your money. Regardless of the circumstances, investors who have been lied to about their financial plans should seek the advice of an experienced securities fraud lawyer. While sometimes investors may feel embarrassed and hesitate to come forward, doing so can help them recoup some of their losses and gain the financial compensation they deserve.
Securities Fraud Penalties
Whether it’s an individual broker cheating one investor or a large corporation whose lies impact thousands of people, the good news is that those who commit securities fraud face stiff penalties if convicted. While the federal government handles many of these cases through the Securities and Exchange Commission, states also have the authority to enforce laws through their securities commissions. In most cases, the majority of cases are prosecuted as federal crimes. Penalties often include a combination of civil and criminal aspects such as fines, prison sentences, and license restriction. For example, those convicted of insider trading can face fines up to $5 million and prison sentences of five years for each offense. In lesser cases where a defendant has no prior criminal history, probation of five or more years may be given, which will require those convicted to meet regularly with a probation officer, submit to drug testing, and pay restitution.
While this may sound as if it pertains to making butter, it unfortunately refers to a broker who is committing investor fraud. In these instances, the broker convinces their client to make more trades than are needed, generating more fees and commissions for the broker. By failing to adhere to do what is in the best interests of their client, the broker is putting their client’s money at risk simply for their own benefit.
Speaking With an NYC Securities Fraud Lawyers
If you have found yourself to be the victim of securities fraud, speaking with an attorney who is skilled in these matters is critical to getting the results you deserve. Known for being very aggressive in their pursuit of justice, securities fraud lawyers will fight for your rights every step of the way. By doing so, you will have an opportunity to make those who lied to you be held accountable for their actions, while receiving the financial compensation needed to keep your financial dreams alive and well for the future.
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