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Securities Fraud Q&A

Securities Fraud FAQs

At Starr Austen & Miller LLP, we help people who have lost money because their stock brokers or advisors mismanaged their investments. See our Securities Fraud Case History for examples. As a rule, we only get paid if you do. About 75 percent of the cases we’ve taken are paid contingency.

Investment advisor or stock broker fraud can take several forms. Acts of fraud can include lying, stealing, or the failure to disclose material information about an investment. Malpractice can also include such things as failure to properly diversify an account (for example having too much…
Some (but not all) investment fraud can cause a “red flag” to be raised that can make an investor suspicious. The investor should be on alert to look for such red flags. The following are a few of the more common things to watch for:…
There are many types of investment fraud: Misrepresentations and Omissions Misrepresentation involves a breach by the broker of his duty of good faith not to misrepresent any “material” fact to the investor in the sale or recommendation of an investment. Material facts include facts that…
The biggest issue to most investors is the loss of money. Can you get your money back after being a victim of investment securities fraud or advisor malpractice? Frankly, it depends upon whether or not your advisor or stock broker has violated the rules and…
Nearly all national brokerage companies and many larger regional stock brokerage firms require their customers to sign FINRA arbitration agreements as a condition upon you doing business with their company. This means that if you, for any reason, need to sue your investment advisor, stock…
FINRA arbitration is only required where the customer has signed an agreement waiving his rights to file a lawsuit in court and instead requiring him to file a FINRA arbitration. While most national and regional brokerage firms do require customers to sign FINRA arbitration agreements…
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is a leading securities industry trade group representing the shared interests of more than 650 securities firms, banks and asset managers in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Its mission is to promote regulation; facilitate more open, competitive,…
A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is an Investment Advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or a state’s securities agency. The term was popularized by the numerous references to RIAs within the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. An investment advisor is an individual or…
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, an investment advisor is an individual or firm in the business of giving advice about investments in securities to clients and receiving compensation for doing so. The securities could include stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Some investment advisors…
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing certification…
Created as a response to the late-2000s recession, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act represents the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reforms that followed the Great Depression. Among its measures, Dodd-Frank includes corporate governance…
As it relates to investment matters, standard of care refers to how investment professionals – including investment advisors, Registered Investment Advisors, and brokers — render service to their clients. Good standard of care means these professions serve their client’s best interests with the intent of…

Self-directed IRAs are a type of financial instrument which allows a person to invest in a larger range of assets than a traditional IRA. Many of us are familiar with IRAs that invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and certificates of deposit,…

Although fraudulent actions surrounding self-directed IRAs can, unfortunately, happen anywhere in the country the state of Indiana, and surrounding states, have had several instances of this type of fraud coming to light. 1.     Randell Morrison – Indiana One of the most recent cases of…
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA) have jointly issued an Investor Alert about the potential risks associated with investing in self-directed IRAs. You can find this short PDF here…
If you think you may have become the victim of investment fraud, or want to assert a claim against your stock broker, it is important to consult with a qualified investment fraud lawyer in your area, and not a general law practitioner.
Any lawyer can call him or herself a securities attorney, since there are no certifications approved by any state bar associations, or the American Bar Association, in the area of investment and securities fraud litigation. However, that does not mean all lawyers are created equally…
Securities Fraud

by Scott Starr, Partner

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