We all want to be able to invest and make money. With the help of a broker, you can make money, but that means that you must place your entire trust in them. If you feel that you might have been a party to broker fraud, contacting broker fraud lawyer Matt Wolper is your first step.
What Does a Broker Do?
A broker does a few things for their client. They can trade and buy stocks and investments, they can help to find new investments for you, and they can also help serve as a middle man between the investor and the market so that you can get the return that you want.
By using a broker you can get information about what investments they feel will work best for you, you can get information about what stocks you should sell, and you can also get help from your broker regarding which investments are going to be the most beneficial to you where you stand.
Though your average person can trade stocks with apps and another online trading, it is always easier and safer to use a broker to help you trade and make sound investments. Unless you have knowledge of the stock market, it can be hard to determine what is going to work and what is going to lose money for you.
What is Stock Broker Fraud?
There are a few different types of fraud that you do need to look out for when investing. The first is unauthorized trading. This means any buying or selling that was not authorized by the investor. When you do sign with a stockbroker it is required that they provide you with a contract that outlines the scope of what they are allowed to do on your behalf and the process by which they get approval.
If they are buying or selling anything without your permission or without telling you that they are making those trades and those sales, this is broker fraud. Another type of fraud to look for is any insider trading or any trades or sales to which the stockbroker is going to have an advantage.
A good example of this might be if the broker tells you that they have an inside tip about a stock that is very low now but that is going to be worth more if more people invest. If they have a stock that is like this and they are in any way affiliated with the company or with the person that owns the company and might get some sort of kickback, this is fraud as well.
It is also important to note that if your broker makes any trade that is not backed by the firm that they work for it can also be considered fraud. Any trade that is made has to be approved by you and by the company that they work for before it can go through and before it can be considered an approved transaction.
The last type of fraud is outright theft. This is less common as it is easier to trace so you might not see money being taken directly from your account. Most instances of broker fraud are going to be done in an underhanded method that is harder to trace. The hope in this is that the investor might not notice that there is money being moved or that they are not seeing the return on investment that they expected to see.
What Can You Do If you Suspect Broker Fraud?
The first thing that you should do if you suspect fraud at all in any way is to talk to your broker. In some cases what you perceive to be fraud may not be fraud and maybe within the scope of what they are able to do. You can also talk to your broker and ask that they provide you with a clear and clean-cut transaction list or account statement so that you can be sure where all your money is going and where your investment is being made.
If they deny that there is any fraud and you feel that there still is, you can also appeal to their higher-ups or to the company that they work for. You can insist that there be an investigation and see if there is any sort of proof that you might be able to find that states that they did something that was not legal or that they should not have done.
If that does not work, you can always get a lawyer and start a criminal investigation.
When to Contact a Lawyer?
If you have talked to your broker and you have talked to your broker and they deny any wrongdoing if you have talked to their firm and they deny wrongdoing or they cannot prove it, you then need to contact a lawyer. A lawyer is going to do a few things.
They are first and foremost going to want to see your account statements. This is going to allow them the chance to see where the money is going, to see how it moves, and try to piece together what might be going on. They may also want to see your portfolio and the investment transactions so that they can see what is going on.
They will then talk with you to see where you feel that the fraud took place and what you think might have happened. They may also ask the brokerage for the findings of the investigation if there was one. The next step is going to be to form criminal charges. Sometimes you can go after the actual broker, but more often than not you will be seeking damages from the firm that they work for
Your lawyer will work to show what you lost, they will help determine how much money you need to get back, and they may also work to help you get a larger settlement for any distress that the whole incident might have caused.
They know what proof needs to be gathered, they know what laws are in place to protect you and your money, and they know what can be asked for in order to recover your money and get back on your feet. A lawyer is going to be your best defense when it comes to dealing with broker fraud and dealing with the loss of money that was the result of fraud.
You may not be able to get all your money back, but you are far more likely to get more of your money back with the help of a lawyer than you would be able to otherwise. A broker that is proven to have committed fraud they can lose their license, lose their job, be required to pay back money that they stole, and they may be required to pay fines as well.
Getting a lawyer is always the best option in ensuring that your money makes money and that you are fully aware of all your investments and where your money is being spent and where it is being invested on your behalf.