Articles Tagged with securities fraud

market manipulationYou know that the factors affecting an investment’s valuation go behind standard data and metrics. Often, an investment’s value can hinge largely on highly subjective factors, like public perception. The “reputation” of an asset or security can either signal an attractive investment opportunity or drive away investors.

You’ve probably heard of pump and dump schemes; a form of stock manipulation wherein essential information about an asset may be misrepresented or misreported in order to artificially drive-up its value before the scammer dumps their shares. In these types of schemes, fraudsters create a buy frenzy by promoting a stock as a desirable investment.

Well there’s also an inverse to this type of investment fraud and it’s called a short and distort scam.

As an investor, risks are things you have to take into account. Before every investment decision, you need to assess potential risks and recognize ways to mitigate them. While its true that some securities and assets may have more associated risks than others, there is one they all share: the risk of fraud.

However, while you may be able to account for fraud risks, sometimes they can prove tough to disarm and avoid. Even the shrewdest of investors have been victimized by investment scams. The fact is, fraud can be tricky. Scammers have a lot of tools in their arsenal to dupe investors and, unfortunately, they can be quite cunning.

That’s why investment losses happen.

In a recently filed complaint,The SEC charged a prominent pastor in a scheme to defraud investors out of millions of dollars. Using his religious clout and reputation, the pastor leveraged investments out of devoted followers, mainly elderly. Between 2013 and 2014, the SEC alleges that Kirbyjon Caldwell, Pastor of the Windsor Village Methodist Church and Gregory Alan Smith, a financial planner previously barred by FINRA managed to dupe investors out of nearly $3.5 million. Caldwell and Smith used most of the funds to cover personal expenses. They funneled the remaining funds to off-shore accounts.

The case represents a pervasive issue for financial and securities regulators: affinity fraud.

What is affinity fraud?

Industry watchdogs turn their focus on Wells’ wealth-management services

wealth-managementIt seems that we may not have yet seen the end of the Wells Fargo accounts scandal. The Justice Department has taken an increased interest in Wells Fargo’s wealth-management unit following whistle-blower claims that the bank’s wealth-management customers have been affected.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, the Justice Department ordered Wells Fargo to conduct an investigation into the bank’s own wealth-management business, in response to claims of unfair practices. The investigation into any potential wrong-doing is the first focused on services offered by Wells Fargo outside banking, namely its financial and investment advisory business.

cryptocurrency scamsBitcoin – Big Coin – Bitcoin – Big Coin…

Read that over a few times. Are those two words beginning to sound similar?

That’s what the founders of My Big Coin, Inc. were hoping when they created their cryptocurrency investment offering. The Nevada-based company has been accused of defrauding investors hoping to cash-in on the recent investment trend.

mortgage-backed securities lawsuitsThe Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) recently reached a settlement sum of $5.5 billion with the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in the agency’s lawsuit.

One down, one to go

This settles at least one of the the two mortgage-baked securities lawsuits against RBS in U.S. courts. Another lawsuit remains pending with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). According to the Reuters article, experts are estimating at least $10 billion will go towards the settlement. It is slated to be the largest fine ever paid by the bank in U.S. courts.

elder financial abuseA recent New York Times article spotlights a renewed approach and increased legislative response to financial elder abuse. Featured in the article are personal accounts of real people whose family members and close friends have been affected by elder financial abuse.

Investment fraud and financial abuse directed towards seniors and the elderly has been a rising concern. We recently featured an issue focusing on the problem of increased elder financial abuse. Most elder abuse is perpetrated against those between the ages of 80-90, suffering from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Now, the issue is getting legislative attention. According to the Times article, 33 states have considered the issue of specific laws directed at financial abuse against the elderly. Other states are revisiting their existing laws.

settling customer disputesEver wonder about how customer disputes are resolved between investors and broker-dealers?

Is a lawsuit necessary?

Do you need to hire a lawyer?

financial securitiesInsecure Financial Securities

Last week, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) handed out a $650,000 fine to a broker-dealer in the Lincoln Financial Network. The industry watchdog group found that the independent broker-dealer in Lincoln Financial’s network allowed thousands of customers’ data to be exposed to foreign hackers.

Similarly FINRA also found that Lincoln Financial Securities Corp. failed to ensure the security of their customers’ consolidated reports.

top investment scamsWe’ve talked a lot about investment scams in the past. Fraudsters are always finding new ways to take advantage of unwitting investors. However, there are several top investment scams that fraudsters favor and which serve as the basis for many new types of investment fraud.

Investors should recognize most of these, but being able to spot signs of these top investment scams may help you in assessing new potential investment risks or signs of fraud.

Pyramid/PONZI Scheme
Contact Information