Unfortunately, the average person can be easily confused by financial issues, which makes it easier for scammers and unethical financial advisers to take advantage of people simply trying to ensure their financial future and the future of their families. Financial services is a significant business with financial advisers and traders make incredible amounts of money at the benefit of their clients.
Securities fraud is often referred to as stock fraud or investment fraud. It includes deceptive practices that involve the stock or commodities markets that leads investors to make decisions based on false information. This information may lead them to buy or sell; either way, the decisions typically leads to them losing money.
There have been many high-profile cases over the last decade involving ordinary people losing their entire life savings. Securities fraud can be completely devastating and can ruin people’s financial futures. There are nearly 30,000 securities brokerages in the United States with payroll pages of over $63 billion. Based on this alone, it is clear how much money is made through this line of business.
In 2014 alone, there were 633 corporate fraud pending cases and 1,639 securities and commodities fraud pending cases. Some of the major cases included Deutsche Bank AG, which was fined $55 million for filing misstated financial reports. Bank of America paid a $20 million penalty after admitting that it did not inform investors during a financial crisis about the uncertainty to income related to repurchase claims on mortgage loans.
Morgan Stanley was fined $275 million after misleading investors on the delinquency status of mortgage loans. They were one of the biggest culprits to be investigated and charged. All together, there were over $4 billion in fines waged against companies in 2014 for misrepresenting information and hiding things from investors causing people to lose money.
There have been several individuals also charged with running pyramid and other schemes that pried on individual investors that may not have fully understand the market or how things work in the market. One of the most significant culprits was Bernie Madoff, who caused his victims to lose a total of $20 billion while he lived a very wealthy lifestyle. Madoff is serving 150 years in prison for his crimes.
When there is concern over possible theft or misrepresentation, litigation attorneys should be brought in to examine the details of the situation to determine if there is a case. It is important to understand exactly what is going on and where the money is going when you invest. Litigation attorneys can help explain what is happening and walk you through the court process if it comes to that.
Too often people assume that their financial advisers know better than them and they don’t want to question what is being suggested because they don’t fully understand and they don’t want to sound stupid. Before you invest, a financial advisor attorney can help you look over the paperwork and understand what you are getting into first.
A securities fraud attorney specializes in these types of fraud cases, and they know the laws better than the average lawyer. Litigation attorneys are likely to also be well versed in securities fraud due to the need to take on those types of cases. You may also look for a lawyer that markets themselves as a stockbroker fraud lawyer.