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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

Elder abuse: byproduct of a targeted demographic for scammers

It's certainly understandable if you are the adult child or other loving relative or friend of a California senior who you suspect is being taken advantage of by a financial scammer.

In fact, you might see strong evidence of that through even cursory familiarity with that elder person's life situation and portfolio. It is sheer understatement to note that seniors are an attractive target for con artists that are in the investment field or falsely claim to be.

Investment con artists: unethical and always creative

Celebrated American showman P.T. Barnum allegedly uttered well more than a century ago the words, "There's a sucker born every minute." That now famous maxim conveys the idea that manipulative individuals can easily defraud gullible members of the public.

Most of us don't like being portrayed as unsophisticated and easily conned individuals, of course.

FINRA advice: watch your portfolio ... and your broker

Are you pals with your investment adviser?

There's nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, especially if your relationship is proven and long-tenured. Amicability and a bit of posited trust are positive factors in most interactions, and you might reasonably feel comparatively good about being on chummy and first-name terms with your financial professional.

Your investment broker could leave your stomach churning

Like most people, you may think of churning butter, an upset stomach or just about anything other than your investment broker. Oddly enough, your broker could be doing some "churning" when it comes to your investment portfolio.

You put your trust in your broker because your knowledge of buying and selling securities isn't extensive. You expect that any transactions are made with your best interests in mind, but that may not be what's happening. Instead, your broker may make trades that benefit him or her.

L.A.'s biggest stock brokerage under regulatory fire

"Abusive" and "recidivist."

Those are the terms selected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to describe a former securities investment adviser and her employer, respectively.

Federal regulators say that the broker engaged persistently and over a protracted period in an unlawful "pump and dump" stock scheme that the brokerage long knew of it and failed to stop.

Cryptocurrency fraud growing concern for securities regulators

A recent Bloomberg article notes that much about so-called "cryptocurrency" is "subject to securities laws, with all of the reporting requirements and registrations that those entail."

That determination by officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is downside news for the bad guys operating in a universe that regulators are finding increasingly worrisome. Task forces from both state and federal bodies are progressively focusing investigative efforts on what they view as shady practices engaged in by fraudulent operators.

He produced movies and orchestrated investment fraud at same time

By any measuring stick, David Bergstein has been a busy man over the years. He was a long-time player in the entertainment industry, producing a number of movies. He has been a financial adviser. He formerly controlled the reins of multiple production companies. And he was the chief executive of a California bank.

All those above descriptors are notably expressed in the past tense, for one single and simple reason: Bergstein has now relinquished all those roles owing to his conviction earlier this month on criminal charges of securities and investment fraud.

Wells Fargo Advisors customers have new cause for concern

Wells Fargo's wealth management and brokerage branch, known as Wells Fargo Advisors, has attracted the attention of the Justice Department. Towards the end of 2017, the Justice Department told the bank to conduct an independent investigation of the branch after employees of the bank blew the whistle on alleged sales issues.

A central concept for Ponzi scheme creditors: clawbacks

To those who pay close attention to the post-effect intrigues of massive Ponzi schemes, Irving Picard looms as a large and lasting presence.

To legions of individual and institutional investors ripped off in the infamous Madoff securities scam, Picard is a knight doing battle to recover lost monies. As trustee in the matter, he (along with a team of forensic experts) is methodically engaged in so-called "clawback" activities aimed at getting back what was lost.

Fraud probe extends to previously unsullied Wells Fargo unit

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan stated recently that he would never guarantee that continuing federal probes or internal company audits are "not going to find an issue in any of our businesses."

That's a smartly couched declaration, especially in light of recent history. Seemingly, just about every investigation of a bank practice or department over the past couple years has uncovered a new scandal underscored by massive consumer fraud.

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