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Alabama Securities Attorneys

Recent news that a fraudster conned the citizens of Opelika, Alabama out of $1.9 million may have you and other Alabama investors concerned about your brokerage accounts and investments. If so, the securities attorneys of Fitapelli Kurta can help. So what happened in the case of fraudster Kyle Sandler? He posed as a former Google executive to swindle an entire town. According to the Opelika-based newspaper oanow.com, Kyle Sandler, the former founder of “Round House, … advertised as an incubator to assist new and startup companies by providing venture capital, office space, internet access and management training in its downtown Opelika building.” In March, he was sentenced to “five years and three months in prison, and Sandler was ordered to return $1.9 million to investors,” according to Opelika-based newspaper oanow.com. As part of the fraud, Kyle Sandler approached many members of the local Rotary Club and took a teenage boy under his wing, forging letters from Six Flags and Johnson & Johnson in which the “companies” expressing interest in a new type of first aid vending machine, the brainchild of the boy. Kyle Sandler even teamed up with John McAfee, once a successful internet security tycoon and now a fugitive living on a boat in the Caribbean. 

While the Kyle Sandler case is certainly troubling, it provides an important lesson: financial fraud can happen anywhere, even in a small town in Alabama. Fitapelli Kurta’s experienced securities attorneys are qualified to practice in Alabama through two means: through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or by association with local counsel in Alabama.

What Protections do Alabama Investors Have? 

Investors are protected in the State of Alabama by a range of securities laws and regulations: the Alabama Securities Act and the Rules of the Alabama Securities Commission are a few examples. Functioning in concert with FINRA rules and federal laws, these regulations empower investors to seek financial damages against stockbrokers and financial advisors.

Helmed by director Joseph P. Borg, the Alabama Securities Commission works to “protect investors from securities fraud and preserve legitimate capital markets in Alabama,” according to their website. According to the Birmingham News, Joseph P. Borg helped form the multistate task force that brought down Stratton Oakmont, the model for the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street. He also took down a traveling pastor—Don Hall—who was scamming churchgoers. The Alabama Securities Commission is known for being tough on crooks, but also provides many helpful resources for Alabamians to prevent broker fraud in the first place. They link to a note-taking template to use when on the phone with your broker called “When Your Broker Calls, Take Notes!” They also provide a guide to common scams. Because Alabama is home to so many servicemembers, the Alabama Securities Commission also links to A Salute to Smart Investing, an e-book published by Lightbulb Press which provides specific information relevant to military families. 

The Alabama Securities Commission also maintains an Enforcement Division. The 12 Special Agents are all veteran investigators and the team even includes graduates of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. These investigators “field investor complaints related to suspicious, unsuitable and/or illegal investment offerings and the sale of fraudulent and unregistered investment products. The Enforcement Division coordinates its actions with the ASC Legal Division and local, state and federal authorities to thoroughly examine complaints, analyze financial transactions and help bring legal action against any person or entity that violates the Alabama Securities Act.” 

The Alabama Securities Commission also informs investors about important legislation. For example, in 2016 Alabama passed the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation Act. This was followed by new FINRA rules, enacted on February 5, 2018, which protect the elderly from financial exploitation.

The Alabama Securities Commission updates investors with news releases—like a recent cease and desist order against Fargotrades LTD. They also issue investor alerts. A recent alert warned Alabamians to be prudent when investing in marijuana-related ventures. Another informed people that the ASC recently issued cease and desist orders to some cryptocurrency companies, like Potpons, Inc., Fundsoptions, Awax LTD, ySign, and Gossamer, which have been allegedly preying on Alabamians. 

The Alabama Securities Commission provides information about how to file a complaint about a broker or investment advisor. It also provides info about arbitration—the area in which we excel as securities attorneys. 

The Alabama Securities Commission oversees and regulates stockbrokers and financial advisers who operate within the state. But it does not have the power to represent investors in private arbitrations and lawsuits. Only securities attorneys have that power.

Additionally, the Alabama Securities Commission is generally unable to enforce the return of lost money to an investor; only a court can do that. For these reasons, it is important for investors to seek out and retain a knowledgeable securities attorney to pursue the recovery of lost funds.

What Makes Us the Right Attorneys? 

We are different. We bring the benefit of inside knowledge. Our securities attorneys have years of experience defending brokerage firms against investor claims; now, every securities attorney in our firm works exclusively on behalf of investors. Our attorneys tap into their years working for the “enemy” to advocate and fight for investors.

Most securities complaints are not adjudicated in court; rather, they are heard in binding arbitration before a FINRA panel. This is where we excel.

We get results. Though we cannot guarantee success, our securities attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Our record speaks for itself. Both of our founding partners are SuperLawyers®, and our firm has received various industry awards—the Avvo Client’s Choice Award for Arbitration, for instance, as well as a “Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Our attorneys are regularly quoted in the media on investment- related issues, appearing in trade publications and national media, including the Wall Street Journal and ABC News.

What Should I Do? 

There’s no need to be gun shy about investing in the stock market, but it is important to stay informed about fraud so that you can protect yourself and your financial future.

If you fear you may have been a victim of a financial crime involving securities fraud, please contact the experienced securities attorneys of Fitapelli Kurta. Our securities fraud attorneys have worked with investors from Alabama. Whether you’re in Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, Gulf Shores, Tuscaloosa, Orange Beach, or any other city in Alabama, we’re here to help you. We get only paid if you do. Our attorneys work on contingency: we only collect a fee from clients if we are able to recover money on their behalf. Call (877) 238-4175 or email info@fkesq.com for your free case consultation.