Florida Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer
As an investor, it is often difficult to determine whether you have been a victim of investment or securities fraud. Many instances of securities fraud go undetected. Most investors will not even consider the possibility of misconduct until they are faced with the loss of their investment. Contact our experienced Florida stockbroker fraud lawyer immediately.
Because the market naturally fluctuates, not every loss means you have been the victim of fraud. However, big losses should spark your concern and prompt you to undertake a further investigation. It may be difficult or nearly impossible to detect fraud unless you consult with a professional who knows what types of suspicious activity to look for.
Listed below are just a few of the warning signs for securities or investment fraud:
- Your broker does not return your phone calls.
- The transactions on your statements don’t make sense to you.
- Your account statements include transactions you did not authorize.
- You find unidentifiable debits or credits on monthly account statements.
- You see a dramatic drop in value of a stock in a short period of time.
- It’s an “up” market, but you’re losing money.
- The majority of investments recommended by the broker are declining in value.
- Your broker tells you to view market news as entertainment.
- Your broker fails to disclose important information regarding an investment purchase.
- Your broker begins trading in high risk and speculative investments.
- Your broker recommends low-priced stocks that are unfamiliar to you.
- You are paying capital gains taxes, despite the fact that your account value is decreasing.
- Financial results are markedly different from publicly announced expectations.
These warning signs don’t necessarily mean you are a victim of fraud. However, if you experience any of these, it is in your best interest to immediately seek the advice of an attorney with experience handling investment and securities fraud matters.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty:
This claim comes from common law as opposed to a specific statute. Brokers occupy positions of trust and confidence with their customers; therefore they owe them the highest duty of loyalty and fidelity. Investment activity that violates that duty may entitle you to bring a breach of fiduciary duty claim.
Conflict Of Interest
Conflict of interest claims have recently received a great deal of media attention. They occur when a large securities firm conducts both investment banking activities and stock analysis and brokerage. Securities analysts may be tempted or persuaded to give a particular stock a strong evaluation if the company is a client on the investment banking side of the business. Similarly, lower ratings may be given to competitors of clients. In either event, investor losses linked to this conduct have the potential for recovery under a conflict of interest theory.
Excessive trading on a client’s account is called churning. Sometimes stockbrokers trade excessively because they want to boost their own commission. Clients lose money due to unsound timing of trades as well as the added broker fees and commissions.
Failure to Diversify
Brokers who put all of their clients’ assets in a single stock or industry may be subject to a claim for failure to diversify. Brokers are supposed to lessen some the risks of being in the market by keeping their clients monies invested in a variety of securities vehicles.
Failure to Supervise
When management at a brokerage firms fails to properly monitor trading activity by its brokers and investor losses occur because of wrongdoing, investors may be able to assert a failure to supervise claim against the firm.
Ineptitude Or Malpractice
In general, malpractice refers to a situation in which a professional harms a victim by providing substandard services — meaning that another equally trained professional might have avoided the harm caused to the victim. Brokerage malpractice refers to cases in which stockbrokers or analysts issue unfounded, incorrect, deceptive, or otherwise misleading advice to their clients. As a result, the client may make poor investment choices and lose significant amounts of money. A securities firm that employs a stockbroker guilty of malpractice may also have legal responsibility for investor losses.
Omission of Facts
This form of securities fraud occurs when a company or broker intentionally misleads investors about material facts regarding a security by failing to disclose important information regarding the security, mutual fund, annuity or offering.
Trading Without Permission/ Unauthorized Trading
Brokers must make their clients aware of their activities. They are not allowed to make trades on a client’s account against the client’s will or without their knowledge or permission.
Broker’s who make investment recommendations that are inappropriate to the known objectives and background of a particular investor may be subject to claims for losses based on unsuitability.
Giving out wrong information or concealing true information. Misrepresentations may exists in a company’s public filings and papers or when a broker or brokerage firm publicly supports a stock while privately admitting that it is a risk or a bad buy.
Exploitation of the Elderly & Disabled
Many states have specific statutes making it a crime and calling for enhanced penalties and fines where one knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtains funds, assets or property and takes advantage of an elderly or disabled person.
Intentional deception in order to secure an unlawful gain or unfair advantage.
In its simplest form theft is the taking of one’s property without that individual’s knowledge or consent.
Prudent Investor Violations
Typically observed in the Trust setting, one who assumes the role of Trustee or Fiduciary is required to make investments and act in the best interests of the Grantor and beneficiaries and has a duty to invest and manage investment assets as a prudent investor. The Trustee is also typically obligated to exercise reasonable care and caution, diversify the investments and to continually review the investment portfolio.
Contact an Experienced Florida Stockbroker Fraud Lawyer
Do you think you may have one or more of the above claims. If so and you are looking for an experienced Florida stockbroker fraud lawyer to help you review your options involving a potential claim against your stock broker for the losses you have suffered, contact Gregory Tendrich. Let his experience work for you.