Both California state law and U.S. federal law are designed to protect investors from fraud. Unfortunately, unscrupulous financial professionals continue to defraud investors out of millions of dollars every year. In some cases, these defrauded investors have lost their entire retirement savings and the wealth they spent a lifetime building. If you have been the victim of securities fraud, let a California investment fraud lawyer from Erez Law, PLLC, help you pursue financial compensation and accountability from the party responsible.
For more than two decades, our nationally recognized securities law firm has fought for the rights of clients who have been defrauded by financial professionals. Our firm exclusively handles securities and investment fraud cases, which means we have the experience and the resources to stand up to even the biggest Wall Street firms. Our dedicated California investment fraud lawyers have recovered more than $175 million on behalf of people who were taken advantage of.
If you have experienced financial loss as the result of securities fraud, reach out to Erez Law, PLLC, for a free case evaluation with a California investment fraud attorney. We understand that many of our clients are experiencing significant financial stress as a result of the securities and investment fraud they have suffered. That’s why we handle cases on a contingency fee basis. We are paid a fee only after we win a financial recovery for you in your investor fraud case.
What Is Securities Fraud?
The term “securities fraud” refers to intentional misconduct or reckless conduct that leads an investor to make a transaction based on false or misleading information regarding a prospective investment. It typically results in the investor’s loss of money, as fraudulent behavior involves unsound or predatory investment practices. Securities fraud can be committed by many types of financial services providers, including companies that issue securities, stockbrokers, brokerage firms, and investment advisors. It can lead to both criminal prosecution as well as civil liability for its perpetrators.
Signs You May Have Been the Victim of Securities Fraud
Common signs that you may have been the victim of securities fraud include:
- The investment professional reports results that don’t make sense or that regularly miss publicly announced performance expectations.
- The financial professional fails to make timely disclosures of material information.
- An investment experiences a significant drop in value in a short period.
- You incur tax liability from an investment that appears to have lost value.
- An investment continues to drop in value despite the broader market gaining in value.
Every investment carries the risk of loss, and the vast majority of losses are not the result of fraud. However, if you suspect something is wrong with your portfolio, speak to a California investment fraud lawyer who can investigate your situation and explain your legal rights.
How a California Investment Fraud Attorney Can Help You
If you have experienced financial loss under suspicious circumstances, turn to a California investment fraud lawyer from Erez Law, PLLC, for help with:
- Investigating the underlying facts and circumstances of your case to recover evidence of investment or securities fraud
- Calculating the extent of your losses, including the loss of value in your investment along with other expenses you incurred as a consequence
- Determining what party or parties can be held liable for these losses
- Explaining your legal rights and options, including pursuing formal complaints with regulators or filing a legal claim for compensation
- Vigorously fighting for the maximum financial compensation you deserve
Common Types of Securities Fraud Cases Our Firm Helps With
Our investment loss attorneys have extensive experience handling a broad range of securities fraud cases, including those that involve:
- Hedge fund fraud – Hedge funds are private funds in which managers are supposed to follow an investment strategy with money pooled from individual investors in the fund. When fraud occurs, hedge fund investors can suffer significant losses.
- Junk bond fraud – “Junk bond” is a colloquial term for corporate bonds issued by companies with subprime credit. Junk bond fraud may involve companies making inadequate or inaccurate disclosure, or it may involve fraud by bond funds that purchase junk bonds.
- Oil and energy investment fraud — This type of fraud usually involves failing to provide adequate disclosures to investors regarding the risk of investing in the oil and energy industry, primarily due to the sector’s volatility.
- Ponzi scheme fraud – A Ponzi scheme refers to illegal conduct by an investment fund (which may or may not engage in actual investing activity) that includes using new investment money to pay prior investors their dividends or distributions. New money is typically attracted to the fund through fraudulent promises and representations regarding the fund’s performance.
- Preferred shares of stock fraud – Fraud involving preferred equity can occur when stockbrokers or other financial advisors fail to warn investors about risks.
- Private placement fraud — This type of fraud involves emerging and non-public companies raising money that may include failing to make accurate disclosures regarding company performance or conflicts of interest.
- Variable annuity investment fraud – Variable annuity funds are financial instruments in which investors are paid an income calculated according to the performance of the fund’s investments.
- Stockbroker fraud and misconduct — This may include making recommendations and decisions that are not based on the client’s investment goals and strategy or that are intended to benefit the broker at the expense of the client.
- Elder financial fraud — Unscrupulous financial professionals often target elderly investors in the belief that they are more susceptible to fraud and less likely to notice or challenge it.
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program fraud – EB-5 visas are granted to foreign nationals who make certain investments in U.S. businesses that help facilitate job creation and economic growth. However, foreign nationals seeking an EB-5 visa may be defrauded of their investment by companies or other third parties.
What Is the Securities Fraud Statute of Limitations?
Under federal securities laws and state laws, a defrauded investor has a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their investment losses. These time limits are known as statutes of limitations, and they can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also sets time limits for taking legal action through arbitration.
Due to the complex nature of these cases, you need to speak to a California investment fraud lawyer to determine your legal rights to financial recovery as soon as you suspect misconduct.
How Much Are California Securities Fraud Attorneys’ Fees?
You will not have to pay any money upfront when you hire a California investment fraud lawyer from Erez Law, PLLC. Our firm handles securities fraud cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we are paid a fee only when we recover compensation for you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be entitled to pursue fee shifting under state or federal securities laws, which means that the losing defendant or defendants would be obligated to compensate you for your legal fees and costs.
Resources for California Investors
If you believe you have suffered from investment fraud in California, the following resources may be helpful as you consider pursuing justice:
- California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation – This state agency oversees financial institutions, professionals, and products.
- California Office of the Attorney General – The California Attorney General’s Office can assist individual investors with consumer protection claims arising from securities or investment fraud.
- California Code, Corporations Code – CORP §25400 – Section 25400 of the California Corporations Code is the primary statute governing securities in the state.
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – FINRA is a non-governmental organization that provides self-regulation for the financial industry, overseeing the conduct of its member markets and brokerage firms.
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – The SEC is the federal agency that regulates the issuance and transaction of securities in the U.S.
Regulators often have limited ability to recover compensation on behalf of the victims of securities fraud. So you should also speak with a California investment fraud lawyer from our firm about your rights and options for seeking financial recovery for your losses.
Talk to Our California Securities Fraud Lawyers Now
If you’ve been the victim of investment fraud, contact the California securities fraud attorneys of Erez Law, PLLC, for a free initial consultation. We represent victims of investment disputes throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and across California. We will work tirelessly in pursuit of financial compensation for your investment losses.