Investment Fraud and SEC Investigations
As financial advisors warn about the “retirement shortfall” that is facing many retirees, seniors are coming under increased pressure to buy financial products, leverage assets like their homes, and find other ways to make their money last. One of the riskiest choices seniors can make is to turn their money over to an investor, who will supposedly manage their funds and maximize investment gains. However, putting money into the stock market, with or without a “professional” investment advisor, is an option that doesn’t square with the low-risk portfolio that senior’s require. Most reputable financial advisors will tell seniors that safer options are also, on average, more profitable, but investment advisors often can’t resist the temptation to earn a commission and “management fees.”
Sometimes, investment advisors aren’t satisfied with the fees and commissions, and opt for outright fraud and theft. In some cases, advisors co-mingle fund with their clients, making it hard to track the money, and easy for them to slip a senior’s money into their own pocket. Some investors are cagey about providing thorough accountings, and will try to stall clients who want solid answers. In one case, the investor would allocate profitable stock trades to his own personal account, and pay the losses from unprofitable trades out of his clients’ funds.
This kind of fraudulent behavior can be hard for the average retiree to catch, and unscrupulous investment advisors use this to their advantage, forming close personal bonds with their victims before soliciting investment which are ultimately destined for the advisor’s own coffers. Our Marin County investment fraud attorneys have handled cases where “investors” sought money from friends, relatives, acquaintances, and strangers, and ultimately used the income to fund a lavish lifestyle before filing for bankruptcy, clearing their debts, and starting again with a new company.
Even in the best of circumstances, the stock market is too risky of an investment for most seniors, who have to live on a fixed income. When the possibility of investment fraud is added, it’s best to steer clear of “advisors,” “investment firms,” and others who wants to convince seniors that the safest place for their money is in someone else’s hands.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of investment fraud, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Marin County investment fraud attorneys have experience investigating and pleading complicated financial cases, and can help guide you through a civil trial or toward an equitable settlement.