Securities theft often involves an investment adviser or stockbroker converting client funds for his or her own personal use. A broker may, for example, forge signatures in order to authorize the transfer of funds or control of funds. Or the investment advisor may commit theft through what is commonly known as a “Ponzi Scheme”. This is when your money is used to pay prior investors their promised returns.
There are ways to protect yourself from the various acts of securities theft. Make sure you know where your money is being held. Generally, you should receive account statements from the custodian of the securities as well as from your investment adviser. Confirm that all transactions are ones you’ve approved. A major rule of thumb: Before turning over any of your hard-earned money, contact the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or your state’s Securities Division to check out the stockbroker/investment advisor and the investment.
If you believe that you may have been a victim of securities theft, you have certain rights which you should be aware of, rights which may provide you an opportunity to recover your losses from your stockbroker or brokerage firm.
At Loya & Associates we can help. I represent victims of securities fraud. Please call or email us today.