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California Securities Fraud Lawyers

Financial investments, such as stocks and bonds, are collectively known as “securities.” With securities fraud, an individual or a corporation manipulates the securities markets through misleading or false information.

Securities Fraud Violations Come in Many Forms

Securities fraud is not just something that happens in Wall Street movies. Investment fraud can happen to anyone, even accidentally. Small business owners and people investing in the stock market can easily get caught up in securities fraud schemes. If someone offers an investment that seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Sometimes, defrauded investors hesitate to come forward out of embarrassment or because they are unaware they are victims of securities fraud. If you suspect that you or someone you love is the victim of a fraudulent investment scheme, a securities fraud attorney from the Matern Law Group, PC can help. The firm works with clients to understand whether or not they are the victim of fraud. If fraud is uncovered, we will fight to recoup your investment. Our firm is committed to obtaining justice for victims of abusive stock brokers and everyday fraudsters who take advantage of the citizens in the State of California.

What Are Securities?

It is important to understand that the term “security” simply means having some kind of ownership interest in a company. You can demonstrate ownership in a company in various ways. Often, it is in the form of stock ownership. However, it can also be in the form of a promise to pay (bond) or a membership interest in a business like a limited liability company (LLC).

What Is Securities Fraud?

Securities fraud typically involves misrepresenting key information investors need to make wise investment decisions. Key securities fraud elements almost always involve providing investors with false, misleading, or inaccurate information. Perpetrators of securities fraud can be individuals, like stockbrokers or business partners, or they can be institutions, like banks or brokerage firms. Securities fraud can also include insider trading. If you think that you have been a victim of investment fraud, contact a stockbroker fraud attorney at the Matern Law Group. We can provide an evaluation of your case and discuss your next steps.

What Are Some Types of Investment Scams?

Investment fraud is a blanket term to describe a broad range of scams, market manipulations, and financial abuse perpetrated on investors like you. Some of the common types of securities and investment fraud include the following:

In these cases, a fraudster pretends to be a member of a religious community, ethnicity, or other marginalized group in order to gain the trust of group members. The fraudster then uses their alleged position within that group to encourage participation in a fraudulent investment scheme.. Affinity fraud schemes can be particularly harmful because group members may not have access to legal resources and may be hesitant to contact law enforcement.

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These are investment schemes that promise extremely high returns (upwards of 30-40%) with very little risk to investors. Generally speaking, if an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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In a Ponzi scheme, the perpetrator promises to invest the new investors’ money and generate high returns with little or no risk. However, in most cases, the perpetrator of the investment fraud never invests a dime and simply uses new investors’ money to pay earlier investors and keeps a portion for themselves.

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Pump and dump schemes have two phases. During the first phase, stock promoters boost a stock price with false or misleading statements about a company. During the second phase, promoters profit by selling their own stock holdings at the top of the market, dumping large amounts of the stock on the market and driving the price and value back down for investors.

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This is not a comprehensive list of all the potential investment frauds you may encounter. If you think you have been a victim of any type of investment fraud, contact a knowledgeable securities fraud attorney at the Matern Law Group to discuss how our firm can help.

What Should You Do if You Have Been a Victim of Investment Fraud?

Do not blame yourself if you think you have been the victim of securities fraud. Investment fraud criminals are usually extremely sophisticated and target their victims with laser precision. They often purposely select victims who may not speak English well, are elderly, or are not well-versed in financial matters. Some signs you may have been defrauded include:

  • The transactions on your bank or brokerage statements do not make sense to you;
  • Most of the investments recommended to you by the broker are declining in value;
  • You are losing money, but the overall market is doing well;
  • Your account statements include transactions you did not authorize;
  • The person who recommended the investment to you will no longer return your phone calls;
  • Your financial results are different from what was promised;
  • Your broker did not explain the risks or rewards of the investment but engaged in aggressive sales tactics to pressure you into the purchase;
  • You have invested in a business or physical property and have never been allowed to see or visit it.

These warning signs do not automatically mean you are a fraud victim. There could be a legitimate explanation for the circumstances in many cases, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic and other unique issues that have arisen over the past few years. However, if more than one of these warning signs is present, you may want to seek the advice of an experienced California securities fraud attorney to determine whether any wrongful behavior has occurred.

How Matern Law Group Can Help

Matern Law Group is committed to obtaining justice for you. Whether you have been the victim of a Ponzi scheme or have concerns about other potential investment fraud, we can help. Our firm prides itself on delivering exceptional legal services to clients.

Matern Law Group believes that everyone deserves to have a powerful voice in the legal process and fights tenaciously to hold abusers accountable. We customize strategies so that each client can achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Furthermore, our firm does not charge clients until we recover damages on their behalf. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Did You Know?

Securites Fraud
In California, a security fraud is a wobbler, meaning that one can be prosecuted with a misdemeanor or a felony. This means that you can get sentenced to huge fines or prison service.
Corporate Fraud
Unlike other criminal offenses, corporate fraud doesn’t fall squarely under one charge of the statute. Per California law, corporate fraud means any fraud types that corporations or their executives commit.
Insider Trading
Inside trading becomes illegal when "insiders" within a corporation, like corporate directors or major shareholders, trade securities in such a manner that violates their relationship of trust while also having material information unknown to the general public.

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

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