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South Carolina Securities Attorneys

Does Investment Fraud Really Happen in South Carolina?

CharlestonIt’s hard to believe, but investment fraud really does happen in South Carolina. It’s up to South Carolinians to understand how to protect themselves—and how to contact a South Carolina securities attorney when they’re ready to get help.

A recent fraud case illustrates the need for a South Carolina securities attorney. On January 24, 2020, a Columbia, South Carolina man pled guilty to stealing $150,000 from an elderly investor. He portrayed himself as a successful businessperson in order to entice an elderly woman to give him money, which he said he would invest in his business, as well as other future business ventures. In reality, however, the man did not invest the money into the promised ventures. Instead, he used it for his personal enrichment. He ultimately pled guilty to felony violations of the South Carolina Securities Act, as well as to Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses. If something similar happened to you, or if you have concerns about your broker, don’t hesitate to contact a South Carolina securities attorney.

How Does South Carolina Protect Investors?

South Carolina has provisions in place to protect investors from investment fraud so that hopefully investors won’t need the services of a South Carolina securities attorney. What is South Carolina doing to help investors?

The South Carolina Securities Division, a department organized under the South Carolina Attorney General, is responsible for protecting investors and regulating investment professionals. The Division is responsible for enforcing the South Carolina Uniform Securities Act. The South Carolina Uniform Securities Act is one of many state “blue sky laws” designed to protect investors. Like federal securities laws, state laws regulate the securities industry in a given state by delineating how brokers and broker-dealers must register with the state, how securities must be registered, and what practices are allowed and not allowed.

As part of its commitment to investor protection, the South Carolina Securities Division provides educational resources to investors. Issued in conjunction with NASAA, the North American Securities Administrators Association, these resources include information about penny stocks, crowdfunding, high-yield investment programs, and mutual funds. The Division also provides investors with a list of ten questions to ask before choosing a broker, questions like Are you registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the State of South Carolina? and How long have you been in the investment or brokerage industry?

The Division also issues Notices and Orders, as well as Investor Alerts. In one Investor Alert, the Division warns investors to beware about the potential dangers of investing in cryptocurrency. While the South Carolina Securities Division provides these educational resources, it is ultimately up to South Carolina residents to avail themselves of these resources as part of securing their financial future.

How can South Carolina Investors Protect Themselves?

The best way that South Carolina investors can protect themselves is through education. It is important to learn about investment fraud and securities fraud. As a South Carolina investor, you can protect yourself by availing yourself of the resources offered by the South Carolina Securities Division, which provides educational resources. Elderly investors should take particular care to get informed—and stay informed—about securities fraud. For more information about senior financial exploitation, see our article “How FINRA Protects Elderly Investors from Financial Exploitation.”

After choosing a broker you trust, make sure you understand the proposed investments. If your broker gives you a prospectus, make sure to read it, and take note of any questions you might have. Be wary if your broker says that an investment is a “sure bet” or a “guarantee.” There are no such things, especially in the often-volatile world of investing. If an investment has the potential for high returns, it likely comes with equally high risks. Remember, never invest in anything you don’t understand. If you find yourself in a dispute with your broker, pick up the phone and call a South Carolina securities attorney.

When Might I Need a South Carolina Securities Attorney?

Even if you do everything right, you still might find yourself in need of a South Carolina securities attorney at some point. While the South Carolina Securities Division does its best to protect investors, its power is limited. If you are looking to recover money you have lost through fraud, only a securities attorney can help you do that. A securities attorney will learn more about your situation and, if you decide to work together, they will be in your corner the whole time as you go through the FINRA mediation or arbitration process.

Who Should I Call?

It can be hard to find a securities attorney who is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and committed to investor protection. Luckily, the securities attorneys of Fitapelli Kurta fit the bill. If you fear you have lost money through securities fraud in South Carolina, please contact the securities attorneys of Fitapelli Kurta. Our securities fraud attorneys have worked with investors from South Carolina. Whether you’re in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, or any other city or town in South Carolina, we’re here to help you. Our attorneys work on contingency; we only collect a fee from clients if we can recover money on their behalf. Call (877) 238-4175 or email info@fkesq.com for your free case consultation.