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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Los Angeles Securities Law Blog

Did Barclays overcharge you? Fund set to reimburse 25,000 clients

The Securities and Exchange Commission has found Barclays Capital in violation of several sections of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Rule 206(4)-7, and the Securities Act of 1933. Without admitting or denying those findings, Barclays has created a Fair Fund, setting aside over $97 million to refund and reimburse clients it overcharged or wrongly advised.

According to the SEC, Barclays:

Agents who exploit the trust of the elderly

You were satisfied that your parents had enough to sustain them into retirement, barring any unforeseen circumstances. You knew they had worked hard and saved carefully, and perhaps you had a hand in helping them invest for the future. That's why you were shocked to learn that a large chunk of their savings was gone, lost in an investment they never should have made.

While your parents may insist that the agent was looking out for their best interests, you have your doubts. You may be especially suspicious when you learn that the agent said he received a certification to work with senior citizens.

With private placement investments, a bit of wariness not misplaced

Virtually any online overview or discussion of so-called "private placement investments" will quickly stress that, while money placed into these vehicles might indeed yield a hefty return, any certainty regarding that is far from assured.

In fact, commentators on private placements -- including our securities law firm at the Los Angeles Law Offices of Marc I. Zussman -- routinely point out the comparatively high-risk nature inhering in such products. We note on a relevant page of our website, for example, that private placement investments are "highly speculative and risky, relative to other types of investments."

Ponzi scheme: a luxurious lifestyle, and now a federal prison term

Well, there was a liquor store, just as he contended.

The problem was that it was owned by his sister and had absolutely nothing to do with what a national media account recently termed "a fictitious liquor business."

Protecting your elderly loved one against financial abuse

It is heartbreaking to learn of the mistreatment and abuse of a loved one, especially when it came at the hands of a trusted friend or ally. Abuse comes in many forms, and while elderly individuals are susceptible to various types of mistreatment, financial abuse is one of the most common and most devastating. 

Elder financial abuse can include various things, but it always results in financial harm, for both the victim and his or her loved ones. Individuals who are older are more susceptible to complex financial scams and types of fraud. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim, you do not have to deal with it on your own. 

He certainly impressed his investors, and he also bilked them

He touted himself as a paragon of virtue, making sure that would-be investors in his company offerings were apprised of his claimed Eagle Scout status as a youth. He sought to draw nearer with individuals and families who ultimately became his defrauded victims by noting a common religious affiliation he shared with them.

Oh, and then there was this, straight out a time-honored scammer's handbook: He assured those poised to write checks but not quite ready to take the investment plunge that money entrusted to him via his Total Wealth Management company would not be a risky undertaking even in a choppy market marked by downturns. In fact, returns would grow even while investments elsewhere would drop, and to a substantial degree.

Unsuitable investments: sometimes a pattern is just clear

As we noted in a recent blog post focused upon securities investing, "not every undesirable outcome can be chalked up to market forces."

Indeed, and as our Los Angeles securities law blog at the well-established Law Offices of Marc I. Zussman has repeatedly pointed out, the investment universe unfortunately features a number of characters who are not beyond committing illegal acts to line their own pockets while simultaneously fleecing good-faith investors.

What is a UIT, and why is the SEC sharply focused on this investment?

"The leopard doesn't really change its spots," says the critic of one so-called "IBD" (independent broker-dealer) entity that was recently slapped hard -- and for a second time -- by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

FINRA's concern with Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. this time around is with an investment product commonly referred to in shorthand form as a UIT.

Is identity theft a growing concern among investment companies?

Our securities fraud law firm often helps clients who have suffered harm because of faulty advice from their brokers, as judged by a reasonableness standard. Yet a broker’s fiduciary duty also extends to practical matters, such as verifying a client’s identity.

Unfortunately, fraud is a growing concern in the securities arena. According to a spokesperson from the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, fraudulent wire transfers by email hackers are on the rise. FINRA recommends that investors utilize all optional security measures offered by their brokerage company, such as two-factor authorization.

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