What is the Statute of Limitations for Securities Fraud?

When securities fraud is discovered, legal action can be taken against the perpetrators as long as the statute of limitations for securities fraud has not passed. The investment and securities industry is heavily regulated to protect investors from fraud and other unscrupulous practices. Unfortunately, there are still many instances of securities fraud that occur each year. What is the Statute of Limitations for Securities Fraud? The statute of limitations for securities fraud in Florida is subject to two separate timelines: a two (2) year statute of limitations and a five (5) year statute of repose. The statute of limitations is the time period during which legal action can be taken and they vary from state to state. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. IMPORTANT: Securities fraud is a complex area of law, and the statute of limitations can be complicated to determine. Due to this, if you believe you are a victim of securities fraud, you should consult with an experienced securities fraud attorney to discuss your legal options and whether the statute of limitations may apply to your case. This is where things can get complicated when dealing with lawsuits relating to securities fraud. Both of these timelines begin running on different dates, and it is important to understand the difference between them. For the two-year statute of limitations, the clock starts ticking when the plaintiff becomes aware of the “facts constituting the violation.” The five-year repose period begins from the defendant’s last culpable act, regardless of whether the plaintiff is aware of it or not. The pairing of these two timelines ensures that there is always a chance to take legal action against securities fraud, even if the victim was not aware of the fraud at the time it occurred. Regardless, if securities fraud has occurred, the sooner action is taken, the better. How does the law define when a securities fraud has been “discovered” or should have been discovered? Due to the complexity of the securities and investment market, it can be difficult to determine when a securities fraud has been “discovered” or should have been discovered. In part, this is why there is a range of two to five years after the date of the fraud within which legal action can be taken. As a good rule of thumb, the time starts ticking on the statute of limitations when the investor becomes aware of (or discovers) the facts or should have been aware of the facts that would cause a reasonable person to believe that securities fraud has occurred. This means two things: one, if the investor believes that he or she has been defrauded, the investor should act quickly and consult with an investment fraud attorney to discuss his or her legal options; and two, if the investor is unsure whether securities fraud has occurred, the investor should err on the side of caution and seek legal counsel to avoid losing the right to take action. IMPORTANT: Unfortunately, ignorance to a securities fraud often will not excuse the running of the statute of limitations. If you have suffered investment losses due to another’s actions, you may have a securities fraud claim, even if you were unaware of the fraud at the time it occurred. How is Securities Fraud handled in Court? The securities fraud cases for investors are typically handled in civil court and arbitrations, rather than criminal court.  A vast majority of securities fraud are brought under Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which prohibits “any manipulative, deceptive, or fraudulent practices” in the securities industry. In addition, securities fraud cases can be tried through the FINRA arbitration process. More and more disputes are being handled through FINRA arbitration, as it is generally faster and less expensive than going to court. You can represent yourself in a FINRA arbitration, but even FINRA recommends that you consult a FINRA arbitration attorney to ensure that your case is properly presented and all possible legal options are explored. How to Report Securities Fraud If you believe that you have been the victim of securities fraud, there are a few things you can do: File a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). File a complaint with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Contact an experienced securities fraud attorney. In securities fraud claims, timely filing of a claim is critical. As a result, if you believe you have been the victim of securities fraud, it is essential to act quickly. Filing a complaint with FINRA or the SEC generally will not help you get compensated for your losses. However, it is an important step in the dispute resolution process as any investigation by the regulators might put pressure on the defendants to resolve your claim and get compensation for your losses. An experienced securities fraud attorney can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and recovering your losses. Consider Speaking with a Securities Fraud Attorney If you believe that you have been the victim of securities fraud, you do have legal options available to you. Finding yourself a victim to securities fraud can be a confusing and frustrating experience. We can help. At The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., we have successfully represented many investors who have been victims of securities fraud. To schedule your free confidential consultation, please call us at 561-338-0037 or fill out one of our short contact forms.

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Do You Need a Florida Stockbroker & Investment Fraud Lawyer?

The Florida Stockbroker & Investment Fraud Lawyers at Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. have been helping investors recoup their losses incurred due to unethical and illegal stockbroker activity for over 40 years. As an investor in Florida, you have the right to expect that your stockbroker or investment advisor will always act in your best interests. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is dedicated to representing investors nationwide who have been the victims of stockbroker fraud, investment fraud, and misconduct by broker-dealers. Our Florida stockbroker & investment fraud lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through securities arbitration and litigation. If you have suffered investment losses, we can help. Contact us today at (800) 732-2889 or fill out one of our short contact forms. What is Investment Fraud? When an entity, such as a brokerage firm, takes your money with the promise of investing it and then uses it for other purposes, you have been the victim of investment fraud. Investment fraud scams are frequently characterized by promises of guaranteed profits and low- to no-risk investments. Chances are if it looks too good to be true, it might be. Is Stockbroker Fraud Different from Investment Fraud? Stockbroker fraud is a type of investment fraud that occurs when your stockbroker or other financial professional makes false or misleading statements to you in order to sell you securities, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Stockbroker fraud is a form of investment fraud, but not all investment fraud is stockbroker fraud. IMPORTANT: If you are a victim of stockbroker or investment fraud, you may have a limited time to take action. The Florida stockbroker & investment fraud lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. can help you recover your losses and hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact us today at (800) 732-2889. Recognizing the Signs That You May Be the Victim of Investment Fraud There are several signs that may indicate that you have been the victim of investment fraud. If you have experienced any of the following, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible: Your Investment dries up or suffers a significant drop in value The market is up, but your investment continues to lose value You are unable to get information about your investment or the company refuses to provide information Your investment is not performing as promised You are pressured to invest more money or told that you need to act now You are told that your investment is low risk when it is actually quite risky The broker or company you invested with has stopped returning calls, responding to emails, or is otherwise unresponsive The hardest part of investment fraud is often recognizing that it has occurred. Many times, people do not realize they have been the victim of fraud until they suffer a significant loss. Do Not Delay – Time May Be Running Out The statute of limitations, or the time you have to take legal action, may be shorter than you think. If you believe that you have been the victim of stockbroker fraud or investment fraud, contact an investment fraud attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and to protect your rights. What is the Statute of Limitations for Investment Fraud in Florida? In the state of Florida, there are two separate timelines for investment fraud in violation of the Florida securities statutes: a two-year (2) statute of limitations and a five-year (5) statute of repose. The two-year statute of limitations for investment fraud in Florida begins to run on the day that you discover or reasonably should have discovered, the fraud. The five-year statute of repose for investment fraud in Florida begins to run on the day that the fraudulent activity occurred, regardless of when you actually discovered it. This means that if more than five years have passed since the fraudulent act occurred, you will not be able to bring a claim, even if you only recently discovered the fraud. There are other claims for common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract with different statutes of limitation that may be longer under the facts of your case. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced Florida investment fraud attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you may have been the victim of investment fraud. Do You Need to Hire an Investment Fraud Lawyer “Near Me”? Since securities are primarily a federally regulated industry, it is not necessary to hire a local Florida investment fraud lawyer. It is still important to find an attorney with experience handling investment fraud cases in Florida, as they will be familiar with the state’s securities laws. These state laws, also known as Blue Sky Laws, may differ from federal securities laws and can potentially provide additional protections for investors. Note: When hiring an investment fraud attorney, it is important to choose one who regularly practices in the field of securities law and arbitration. Securities law is a complex and ever-changing area of law, so you want to be sure that your attorney is up-to-date on the latest legal developments. Are You Dealing with Investment Fraud in Florida? Contact our Florida investment fraud lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. today at (800) 732-2889. We represent investors nationwide who have been the victims of stockbroker fraud, investment fraud, and broker-dealer misconduct. We Have a History of Helping Investors Recover Their Losses The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has helped investors recover their losses in securities arbitration and litigation for over 40 years. We are one of the most experienced FINRA arbitration law firms in the country and have recovered more than $160 million on behalf of our clients. In fact, we have recovered funds for over 99% of his investor clients through various avenues of recovery, including settlements, arbitrations, and court litigation.  Attorney Pearce is a well-respected advocate for investors throughout the legal community, known as a fierce litigator throughout Florida and across the...

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What Does a Securities Lawyer Do?

The term “securities lawyer” refers to an attorney who concentrates his/her practice on assisting clients in navigating the laws and regulations that govern the purchase and sale of securities. If you’re having difficulties with your financial advisor or broker and suffered investment losses, you might want to hire a securities lawyer who knows the securities laws and securities industry rules inside and out.  What Does a Securities Lawyer Do? A securities lawyer specializes in securities laws and regulations that apply to investors, brokers, and financial advisors. Securities lawyers represent investors claiming losses as a result of misconduct or fraud, as well as brokers and financial advisors accused of misconduct by their clients or their employers. Investment Losses? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 800-732-2889. Brokers and advisors provide investment advice and sell securities products such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. When you work with an advisor or broker, you probably signed an agreement that required them to comply with Federal and state securities laws and securities industry rules, including the rules requiring an advisor or broker to only make suitable investment recommendations and to act in your best interest. IMPORTANT: If your financial professional isn’t doing what was agreed to, or if you think they’ve committed securities fraud, you can file a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). But before you do, you might want to talk to a securities lawyer. You have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible if you were an investor who lost money as a result of broker misconduct. What Are Securities Laws? Securities laws are the laws that regulate the securities industry. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is the government agency that oversees the securities industry and enforces the Federal securities laws. These rules are designed to protect investors from fraud and other abuses, and to ensure that the securities industry operates fairly and transparently. Federal law requires companies that sell securities to register with the SEC. This registration process provides important information about a company’s business, its financial condition, and its management. It also gives the SEC important information about the people who sell the company’s securities. The federal securities laws also require those who sell securities to be licensed and to meet other standards of conduct. Investors and brokers use this information to make informed investment decisions. When brokers don’t disclose important information, or make false or misleading statements, they may have committed securities fraud. Further, the SEC provides a forum where investors can bring SEC complaints. The SEC may use these complaints to assist them in SEC investigations and the detection of securities fraud. In comparison to other areas of the law in the United States, there are few securities lawyers. Most lawyers who practice in this area work for the government, regulating or prosecuting firms and individuals who have violated securities law. It’s Important To Find A Good Securities Lawyer Who Represents Investors! There are a few lawyers who represent investors in private lawsuits and arbitrations against firms or individuals who have committed fraud and violated other securities laws. In order to sue someone for securities fraud, you must be able to prove that they made false or misleading statements, and that you relied on those statements to your detriment. Proving fraud can be difficult, and you should talk to a securities lawyer before you decide whether to sue. If you are an investor who suffered losses due to broker misconduct, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the parties responsible. Broker misconduct exists in multiple forms, including: Breach of fiduciary duty; Failure to disclose a conflict of interest; Churning, also known as excessive trading; Lack of diversification; Failure to adequately supervise; Misrepresentation; Omission of material facts; Unsuitable investment recommendations; Unauthorized trading; and  Misappropriating client funds.  While some forms of broker misconduct are easy to recognize, others are not. A financial advisor who stole funds out of your account and transferred them to a personal account clearly misappropriated your funds and committed misconduct. It’s more difficult to prove that a financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments, however, because the suitability of an investment depends on a number of different factors.  If you suffered investment losses and believe it was a result of broker misconduct, contact a good securities fraud lawyer today to evaluate your case.  Securities Laws are Complex and Numerous The laws that govern the securities industry are complex and numerous. This is partially due to the fact that the securities industry is complex and ever-changing. As new technologies and products are developed, they must be regulated. And as the markets change and evolve, the rules must change with them. This complexity can make it difficult for investors to understand their rights and what they should do if they think their broker has committed securities fraud. Below are just a few of the securities laws that may be relevant to your case: The Securities Act of 1933 Often called the “truth in securities” law, the Securities Act of 1933 has two main objectives: To require that companies disclose important information about their securities before they sell them; and To prevent fraud in the sale of securities. You can read more about the Securities Act of 1933 here. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is often called the “most important securities law in the United States.” It created the SEC and gave it broad authority to regulate the securities industry. Among other things, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires companies that sell securities to the public to disclose important information about their business, financial condition, and management. It also requires brokers and dealers who trade securities to be licensed and to meet other standards of conduct. You can read more about the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 here. Trust Indenture Act of 1939 The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 is a federal law that regulates the sale of municipal securities. Municipal securities are debt obligations issued by states, cities, and other...

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