When you hire a stockbroker or brokerage firm to manage your money and advise you on investment opportunities, you do so with the reasonable expectation that they will keep your best interests and financial goals in mind. Unfortunately, not all financial professionals adhere to their industry’s strict codes of ethics. In fact, many engage in outright misconduct and fraud. If you have suffered financial losses in this manner, turn to a Florida stockbroker fraud attorney for help demanding accountability and justice.
For more than two decades, Erez Law, PLLC, has been dedicated specifically to helping the victims of stockbroker fraud and other financial malfeasance. Our law firm has successfully represented clients across the state of Florida, throughout the United States, and around the world. We have the experience and resources to take on even the biggest firms on Wall Street, and we have recovered more than $175 million for our clients.
If you suspect your investment losses are due to misconduct, reach out to a Florida stockbroker fraud attorney from Erez Law, PLLC, today for a free initial case evaluation. Because our law firm works on a contingency basis, you will pay nothing upfront to get the legal representation you need. We only get paid a fee if we recover money for you.
What Is Considered Stockbroker Fraud?
Investing in stocks or securities comes with a risk of loss. However, in some cases, these losses are due not to the volatility of the market but to intentional or reckless misconduct on the part of a broker or firm. A stockbroker must obtain relevant information about a client’s income, financial situation, and investment goals in order to determine an investment strategy appropriate to that client’s needs. When a stockbroker makes investment decisions that do not plausibly serve the client’s needs or that are intended to financially benefit the broker or brokerage firm without regard for the performance of the client’s portfolio, they may be engaging in outright fraud. This fraud can be remedied through both the criminal courts and civil claims brought by wronged investors.
Signs of Stock Fraud
Signs that your stockbroker may be engaging in fraudulent or unlawful behavior include:
- Your brokerage statements do not add up, or your broker cannot explain the statements to your satisfactory understanding.
- Your statements include unexplained transactions or transactions you did not authorize or know about.
- You lose substantial value in your investments in a short period.
- Your investments lose money even though the market is growing.
- Your broker stops taking your calls or doesn’t return voicemails or emails.
- Your broker fails to disclose important information about a prospective investment.
- Your broker regularly recommends investments that lose value.
- Your broker trades in speculative or high-risk investments.
- You have capital gains tax liability even though your brokerage statements show that your investments have lost value.
- The investments that your broker recommends regularly report financial results that fall below publicly announced expectations.
While any one of these signs may have a reasonable explanation, they should still serve as red flags. You should consider speaking to a Florida stockbroker fraud attorney who can investigate your case and determine whether you have been the victim of fraud or misconduct.
Common Types of Stockbroker Fraud
Some common examples of fraudulent behavior by stockbrokers include:
- Excessive trading, often conducted to generate fees for the broker rather than to serve the client’s interests
- Selling away a client’s investments when liquidation of the portfolio was not authorized by the client
- Unauthorized trading, or making trades for an investor account without first obtaining the client’s consent
- Unsuitable investments, where the broker recommends or picks individual investments or an overall investment strategy that does not serve the investor’s goals or needs
- Lack of diversification, as an effective investment strategy requires diversified holdings to protect against a downturn in any specific investment
- Excessive use of margin, which makes the client liable for margin loans that exceed the value of the client’s account
- Misrepresentation or omission regarding the performance of an investment strategy or specific securities
- Churning, or making investments motivated solely by the commissions the broker earns rather than the client’s best interests and investment objectives
- Pump and dump schemes, where junk or fraudulent stock is sold to unwitting investors, after which the organizers of the scheme sell their own stock at a high price before their victims realize the fraud
- Unregistered securities sales, which can carry a high degree of risk of loss, as these securities are usually issued by unproven startups and other small companies
- Failure to execute trades, especially one a client has specifically directed
- Failure to supervise, where brokerage firms fail to monitor the activities of individual brokers in their employment
- Misleading or incomplete disclosures regarding prospective investments
- Misappropriation, including withdrawing funds from a client’s account for a broker’s or firm’s own use
- Overconcentration, including weighting an investment portfolio too heavily into a particular investment or sector
- Breach of fiduciary duty, as stockbrokers and brokerage firms are expected to act in a reasonable and good-faith manner that serves the clients’ interests above their own
- Broker negligence, or when a broker or their firm should have taken a prudent course of action and did not
- Violation of state and federal regulations, as well as violation of FINRA and other industry regulations
How Our Florida Stockbroker Fraud Attorney Can Help You
If you have been the victim of stockbroker fraud or misconduct, you deserve aggressive representation from an experienced securities law attorney at Erez Law, PLLC. A Florida stockbroker fraud attorney from our firm can help you by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of your claims to recover evidence of your stockbroker’s fraud or misconduct, such as brokerage account statements, financial records, and expert economic analysis of the market and the performance of your portfolio
- Calculating the extent of the losses that you suffered due to broker fraud or misconduct
- Explaining your legal rights and options to you, including discussing whether to file formal complaints with the government or private regulatory agencies such as FINRA, and how long you may have before you must file your claim
- Retaining expert witnesses to help explain how your broker’s actions amounted to fraud, misconduct, or negligence
- Fighting for the full financial recovery you deserve
When you turn to our firm for help after being the target of stockbroker fraud or misconduct, you can expect that we will fight tirelessly to recover as much of your financial losses as possible and to hold those at fault accountable.
Time Limit for Taking Action in a Stockbroker Fraud Case
Under Florida and federal securities laws, as well as FINRA regulations, defrauded investors have a limited amount of time to take legal action. Waiting too long to file a claim could mean you lose your right to compensation.
These time limits are complex and must be strictly observed. It is crucial to speak with a Florida stockbroker fraud attorney from Erez Law, PLLC, as soon as you suspect something is wrong. This gives your lawyer as much time as possible to ascertain the details of your case and to craft a strong claim for fair compensation in your stock market fraud case.
Talk to a Florida Stock Fraud Lawyer Now
You shouldn’t be left to pay the price for someone else’s careless, greedy, or unlawful behavior. If you have suffered financial losses because of stockbroker fraud, contact Erez Law, PLLC, today for a free, no-obligation consultation. A Florida stock fraud lawyer from our firm can explain your legal options for pursuing financial recovery and justice from the broker or firm that wronged you.
As a nationally recognized securities fraud law firm, we have successfully represented investors in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, and throughout Florida.