In today’s complex financial markets, trading has reached an all-time high, and the number of elaborate new investment strategies is rapidly increasing. These schemes are often difficult for the average investor to understand. Moreover, even standard investment accounts are vulnerable to acts of fraud by the professionals who manage them. The securities fraud lawyers at Fitapelli Kurta began their careers defending investment firms, but we are now solely dedicated to protecting the rights of investors throughout the nation. Our legal team knows how firms work and what legal strategies they use. Let us use that knowledge to your benefit.Broker Malfeasance on the Rise
Investment fraud is the term used for any deceptive practice that is carried out for the purpose of inducing investors to make investment decisions. It can include a wide range of actions, such as insider trading, account churning, and broker embezzlement.
Not only can stock fraud result in financial devastation for investors, but it can also have a negative effect on securities markets. The increase of investment fraud has led the industry to enact a number of rules designed to protect investors. Broker fraud is strictly prohibited, and cases involving it are taken seriously by agencies that control the securities industry. The securities attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta are accomplished in litigating fraud claims, particularly before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a resolution forum for securities disputes. With successes totaling millions of dollars, our aggressive lawyers are dedicated to pursuing the best possible outcomes for our clients.Proving a Fraud Claim Against an Investment Professional
A claim of investment fraud requires an investor to prove several elements. First, there must be evidence that a broker made a knowing, false representation about a material fact. This is something that would be considered crucial for the reasonable investor when weighing an investment decision.
There must also be proof that the broker acted with intent to mislead or commit fraud. This is often a difficult burden. However, every broker is subject to guidelines created by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which is the agency primarily responsible for regulating the securities industry and enforcing the laws governing it. In order to reduce fraud, the SEC has developed rules requiring brokers to conduct transactions within a client’s risk level, disclose material information to investors, reveal all conflicts of interest, obtain client consent before conducting a transaction, and follow a client’s orders when buying or selling stocks. These guidelines provide clear direction for brokers, and deviation from them can be indicative of intent to commit fraud.
An investor must also show that he or she reasonably relied on the broker’s statements. Given the relationship between most investors and brokers, this is generally not a difficult burden. Most people typically do not have sophisticated knowledge about investments and depend on brokers for their expertise in the area. As a result, it is only rational that investors rely on an adviser’s advice and information. Finally, there must be evidence of an injury, or a financial loss as the result of a broker’s actions.
There can be a number of challenges to a claim for investment fraud. It is common for brokers to assert a defense that they did not knowingly violate a particular rule. Moreover, there are certain time limitations for bringing a fraud case. Federal laws set forth the timeframe in which stock fraud cases must be brought, but determining when that period of time starts to run can be complicated. Fortunately, the legal team of securities attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta is experienced in overcoming these hurdles and can help guide you through the resolution of your claim.Discuss Your Stock Fraud Case with an Investment Fraud Lawyer
If you believe you are a victim of broker fraud, you need to act quickly to preserve your claims. The stock fraud attorneys at Fitapelli Kurta can evaluate your case and help assert your right to recover your lost investments. Call (877) 238-4175 or contact us online to speak to a member of our staff today.