Stock Broker Fraud

At Starr Austen & Miller LLP, we help people who have lost money because their stockbrokers or financial 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.

You have options

Investors who have been victimized by investment or securities fraud should know there are avenues of recourse, including bringing a claim to FINRA Securities Arbitration against investment professionals and stock brokers — for fraud, the sale of unsuitable investments, churning or excessive activity, negligence, the failure to supervise, or the breach of fiduciary duty.

Stock broker fraud can happen through the sale of proprietary investment products, false promises, misleading or fraudulent investment advice — all provided, not to achieve YOUR investment objectives, but instead to further the investment professional’s own financial interests, or the financial interests or production requirements of his or her’s brokerage firm. In such cases, you may have a legitimate claim for stock broker fraud. You should consult with a qualified securities arbitration and investment fraud lawyer to determine if such a claim may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA Dispute Resolution, Inc., and NASD Dispute Resolution, Inc.

Check stock broker’s history

It pays to investigate who you’re doing business with — before you invest! Find out if your broker or his or her’s brokerage firm has been subject to stock broker fraud claims, disciplinary actions, bankruptcy, or regulatory actions for misconduct, such as securities fraud, investment fraud, or the violation of the federal securities laws or self-regulatory rules. Learn if your stock broker or brokerage firm has had customer initiated, investment related, stockbroker fraud complaints or securities arbitration proceedings. Research whether NASD Regulation, Inc., or FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) has ever brought an action against your broker for violating its rules. Investigate your broker’s previous firms and whether these companies have been expelled or disciplined by securities regulators.

Two helpful sites to review are:

Senior citizens particularly vulnerable

Imagine working hard all your life and then handing over your savings to someone who you believe has better knowledge and expertise to wisely and conservatively invest what you’ve saved. People rely on such persons in order to make important life decisions, take early retirement, and make withdraws from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or 401k plans. Unfortunately, many of these “advisors” engage in stockbroker fraud or investment fraud and make false promises concerning anticipated returns or income just to obtain your investment business. Others make false promises and fraudulently induce people to purchase defective financial products — products which promote the advisor’s own financial interest, not yours.

Because they have so much at stake, and often are particularly reliant on others for help, senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to investment fraud. If they find out that their money has vanished, and their life-savings have been depleted based upon the misleading or fraudulent investment advice, and have suffered losses because their stock broker sold them risky or aggressive investments, they can be financially and emotionally devastated. They’re left with depleted savings, are perhaps uninsured, and no longer as employable and able to replace such funds as when they were younger.

Such injured investors do have recourse and should contact a securities arbitration and investment fraud lawyer for a free consultation. They may have the ability to sue their stock broker to recover these investment losses in FINRA Securities Arbitration.

Choose your lawyers wisely. It matters.

While no special designation or certification for practice in securities arbitration or investment fraud litigation is granted by any state or the American Bar Association, many lawyers call themselves “Investment Fraud Lawyers” or “Securities Arbitration Lawyers.” However, in some instances, these individuals have little or no experience in this area of the law, and are engaged in a variety of other endeavors including personal injury, workmen’s compensation, immigration, or medical malpractice.

So before you hire a securities arbitration lawyer or a lawyer professing to be an investment fraud lawyer, ask that person exactly how many stock broker fraud, securities fraud or investment fraud cases that he or she has handled. In such cases, experience and familiarity with all the available legal options matters a great deal. Securities arbitration awards and the identity of counsel in these cases can be researched on-line and you can find out exactly how many cases your potential lawyer has actually handled to a Final Hearing before FINRA Dispute Resolution.

At Starr Austen & Miller LLP, we make no representation that the quality of legal services to be performed by us is greater than the quality of legal services to be performed by other lawyers. However, we do have a verifiable record of helping people who have lost money because their stockbrokers or advisors mismanaged their investments. See our Securities Fraud Case History for examples of our experience in representing individual investors in claims against brokerage firms for stockbroker fraud, securities fraud and investment fraud in FINRA (NASD) Securities Arbitrations, or NYSE Securities Arbitrations, where permitted under the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct and state law.

Securities Fraud Q&A