If you have been a victim of investment fraud including stocks, commodities, options, limited partnership, short trading, margin trading and day trading, Debra would be pleased to evaluate your case. Debra has a wide range of securities experts who she works with to assist you with your legal needs. Debra securities experience includes having been an attorney and vice president with the international brokerage firm, Thomson McKinnon Securities, and having been an enforcement attorney at the NASD prosecuting stock brokers and brokerage firms for investment fraud.
Many victims of investment fraud tell Debra that their stock broker initially solicited their business by "cold calling" them. Although these victims would never have considered going to a doctor if they had telephoned soliciting their business, they obtained their broker that way. Stock brokers are in general hard-working professionals who want to assist their clients in planning for their future. Bad apples in the brokerage industry are an embarrassment to the industry as it gives stockbrokers a bad name.
Choosing a Stockbroker
In choosing a stockbroker, obtain references from family and friends. Interview several stockbrokers to see which you feel most comfortable with. Ask them their investment experience, professional background and education. Obtain a free report about the disciplinary history of brokerage firms and stockbrokers by contacting the NASDR at 800 289-9999. Remember, for the most part, stock brokers are paid by how often they buy and sell investments for you. Obtain a copy of the commission schedule from the stock broker. REMEMBER investments always entail some degree of risk. Be aware of that.
Katherine W. met with Debra because she lost a substantial amount of money in her securities account. She was first introduced to her stockbroker by his "cold calling" her. She had told her stockbroker she wanted to invest in stocks that would generate dividends. The stockbroker instead placed her in risky securities.
Some Definitions :
Churning : Inducing a client to excessively trade an account for the purpose of generating commissions for the stockbroker.
Suitability: Stockbrokers and other investment advisors are required to recommend only investments that are suitable based on a client's investment objectives.
Misrepresentation: Fraudulently misstating information to a client for the purpose of inducing them to purchase or sell a security.
Unauthorized trading: Stockbrokers trading in a client's account without first obtaining authorization.
Margin trading: Allows you to purchase more stock than you have the money for by having the brokerage firm loan you some of the money to buy stock. Remember your return on your investment must be greater than the amount of interest rate the brokerage firm charges for the margin for you to break even.
Arbitration. Ever since the June 1987 United States Supreme Court landmark decision in the case of Shearson/American Express v. McMahon, investors have been forced to bring lawsuits before an arbitration panel if they have signed arbitration clauses in their new account forms. An arbitration panel generally consists of two public arbitrators and one industry arbitrator. Arbitration can be brought before the NASD, NYSE, and AMEX.