Being the victim of investment fraud can be a catastrophic hit to you, your family, and your plans for the future. The money you have worked hard for your entire life can be taken away in an instant.
Indeed, one of the best examples of how devastating the impacts of investment fraud can be is the Bernie Madoff case. Bernie Madoff perpetrated a Ponzi scheme that was based on nothing but his charm, his reputation, and the goodwill of his investment firm.
As shocking as it may seem, Madoff was able to keep up a billion-dollar investment fraud Ponzi scheme for decades. The red flags were there, but the kind of power he wielded on Wall Street, allowed him to keep suspicion from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at bay.
Once the Great Recession hit, however, Madoff was unable to keep up the façade. And, with surprising calmness, Madoff turned himself in, took responsibility for his massive financial crimes, and stated that he always knew the day would come when the authorities would put him in jail.
Devastation from Madoff’s Actions
The real tragedy, however, was not Madoff’s descent into the criminal punishment that always awaited him, but the victims left in the wake of his massive fraud. Many believe that Madoff only defrauded investors who either were too wealthy to really be hurt by Madoff’s crimes, or should have known that on some level that he was nothing but a fraudster. That, however, is far from the truth.
In fact, many of Madoff’s clients were people of limited means or solidly middle-class individuals. At his sentencing, victim after victim told the court of their poverty solely because of Madoff’s crimes. There was a retired police officer who put all of his life savings into a Madoff account and was left with nothing. There was an elderly gentleman who did not know how he was going to pay for life-saving treatment for his illness without the money he invested with Madoff. And, there are thousands of other stories like that.
Investor fraud lawyer Melanie Cherdack understands the plight of those who are victims of investment fraud. She has “seen it all” when it comes to the schemes that investment brokers use to defraud their clients. So, if after reading this article you want to learn more about whether you need an investment fraud lawyer for your current situation, then we invite you to contact us today on our online contact form, or by calling 888-768-2499. We are the investment fraud lawyers who will be leveling the playing field for you.
Now, let us get to the 3 ways you can recover investment losses if you were the victim of fraud.
1. Mediation or Arbitration
FINRA – the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – the public/private organization that creates a forum for investors to recover damages from fraud, allows for a number of dispute resolution avenues.
To be qualified to use the services of FINRA, the alleged occurrence or event forming the basis of the fraudulent act must have happened within the last six years. If that is the case, then you may want to file an arbitration with FINRA. Compared to going to court, arbitration can be a less costly, easier, and faster option to recover your investment losses.
It is wise to hire an investment fraud lawyer to represent you at the arbitration. Why? Because it is a virtual guarantee that the broker or investment house that you are disputing will have legal representation.
Finally, mediation, which is an opportunity for the parties to negotiate with the help of an experienced, trained, and objective mediator, usually is a step in the arbitration process. Many cases can be resolved through mediation, which is less costly and time-consuming than an arbitration.
Fortunately, FINRA can provide the platform and rules within which you and the alleged fraudster can resolve your claims.
2. SEC and FINRA Enforcement Action
The SEC and FINRA have the power to institute their own enforcement actions against bad acting investment brokers as well. You cannot count on receiving any of your money back as a result of an SEC or FINRA enforcement action. Even if these regulators have brought an enforcement action, you need to consult with an investment fraud lawyer to ensure that you maximize your recovery. In fact, often there are other fraudsters in the mix against whom you can recover. Be sure to consult an investment fraud lawyer to evaluate your claim and explain your rights.
Beware.There are fraudsters that may impersonate FINRA or the SEC as a ruse to try to defraud victims. So, be wary of unsolicited offers from those claiming that they will help you recover investment assets.
To be sure, the best way to combat any fraud directed at you is to have the advice and guidance of an experienced investment fraud lawyer.
3. SIPC Can Help
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) is an organization which provides limited protection to investors should their securities firm become insolvent. SIPC is a non-profit, non-governmental entity which is funded by member broker-dealers.
If a securities firm becomes insolvent, SIPC protects customers of SIPC-member broker-dealers if the firm fails financially. Coverage is up to $500,000 per customer for all accounts at the same institution, including a maximum of $250,000 for cash.
Protect Yourself – Get an Investor Fraud Lawyer to Represent You
If you or a loved one has been the victim of investment fraud, then you need an experienced, aggressive securities fraud attorney to zealously pursue your case against the perpetrators. We invite you to contact securities attorney Melanie Cherdack.
Because she has been in the trenches as a former Wall Street attorney, investor fraud lawyer Melanie Cherdack and her team of experienced attorneys have seen just about every type of investment fraud or investment loss. While almost every investment carries a degree of uncertainty and risk, you may have been unnecessarily exposed to such risk due to the actions of others.
If you have lost money due to investment fraud or simple broker negligence, it is crucial to hire a lawyer who fully understands this area of law. Former Wall Street securities attorney Melanie S. Cherdack represents individual and institutional investors who are unwitting victims of investment fraud and broker negligence. She heads up a group of attorneys who represent investors across the United States. Contact us by filling out our online contact form, or calling 888-768-2499.