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You're an investor and you've lost money.

Have I been defrauded?

Just because you’ve lost money in the markets does not mean that you’ve been defrauded. Markets go up, but they go down, too. The question is whether or not the investment professional who advised you placed you into investments that were not suitable for your profile as an investor, whether they engaged in unauthorized trades, too-frequent trades, or outright stole funds from your account. It may take some analysis to figure out why you lost money and whether or not you have a legal case to be made against the firm or the adviser. We can help you with that.

What do I do now?

This depends on the underlying facts. If your funds were invested in an account with a FINRA-regulated broker-dealer, then there’s a very good chance that when you opened your account your contract with the firm requires you to submit your claim to binding arbitration with FINRA Dispute Resolution Services. If your funds were invested through a registered investment adviser, there is still a good chance that you have agreed to binding arbitration, but his may be before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or a similar group, such as JAMS. Or there may not be an agreement to arbitrate, in which case you may file a lawsuit in the appropriate court. We have experience in all potential scenarios and can help you analyze what courses of action are available to you and how to address each option. 

Is litigation the only option?

Of course not–it is always possible that the firm or financial adviser will step up and do the right thing without needing to file a case. But in our experience, being ready, willing, and able to litigate serves only to increase the chances that you will be able to settle early. Of course, we can never guarantee whether the other side will be reasonable–which is why we’re always getting ready to try the case.

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Learn more about our investment disputes practice or get in touch with us to discuss your options.

Legal FAQs answered by SECIL Law group photo featuring Janet DeCosta, Lionel Andre, and Adriaen Morse

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“SECIL” stands for what we do: Securities Enforcement Compliance Investigations & Litigation.  We help companies and individuals with sophisticated criminal and civil litigation, whistleblower disclosures, compliance and anti-corruption programs, and a range of other services.