Working for Justice

Financial Mismanagement and Investment Fraud

FINRA Acts to Protect Senior Investors

As the U.S. population ages, senior investors increasingly have become more vulnerable to securities fraud.  Too often, caregivers ingratiate themselves with vulnerable seniors, only to secure powers of attorney and then use their new powers to drain the senior’s investment account. The so-called trusted caregiver then vanishes never to be seen or heard from again. […]

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Cryptocurrencies: A Virtual Mine Field

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum, are intended to serve as a type of digital money that consumers can use in everyday commercial transactions. They may be traded on online exchanges for conventional currencies, including the U.S. dollar, or be used to purchase goods or services, usually online.  But with one bitcoin recently trading at […]

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《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》- 加州老年人的强力法律武器

美国人口正日趋老龄化。人们在变老的同时,心智能力也会随之减弱,包括变得孤立、依赖于他人以及常感惊恐。而一些倾其一生积累了一定财富的老年人很容易成为一些不法分子的侵害目标。 这个侵害过程通常开始得很简单。一位投资知识有限或是英语能力有限的老年人开了一个投资账户并买入了一些固定收益股票。他希望得到一些可靠的投资建议,这样就能靠这些股票的收益安然度过余生。然而,在开户后的几个月时间里,开户券商就擅自把这位老人的账户类别设置成了激进型并批准该账户进行融资融券交易和期权交易。 紧接着该账户频繁进行针对于高风险股票和其他不当投资产品的高速当日交易。这些不当投资包括细价股、期权合同以及与大宗商品和珍稀金属的价值相关联的杠杆交易买卖基金。这个拥有50万资产的账户进行了超过2000万数额的交易额。因为这位老年人的投资知识和英语能力有限,很明显这些交易并不是他自己操作的。实际情况是他的证券经纪人违反了经纪义务,控制了该账户并通过过度交易来收取佣金。最终结果是这位老年人亏损了他一辈子的积蓄。 很多老年人遇到这种情况之后不愿意站出来。有些是出于羞愧心理,有些是不知道如何维护自己的权益,还有些人则是两者皆有。其实他们根本不需要这样。加州的老年人有一个强有力的法律武器可以随时使用,那就是《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》。根据该法律,“侵害老年人财务”指的是当一个人或机构窃取、藏匿、占用、获得或者保留老年人或未独立成年人的个人财产或是不动产来进行不法使用且/或意图欺诈,并且知道或应当知道其行为极有可能造成伤害。对客户的股票经纪账户通过上述方式进行不当管理正是《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》意在惩罚的行为,而且这些惩罚非常严厉。 首先,当股票经纪人被法院认定为侵害了老年人的财务权利时,法院必须判决给这位老年人补偿性赔偿款、合理的律师费用与支出以及法律提供的所有其他救济手段。 “法律提供的其他救济手段”指的是什么呢?如果股票经纪人被判定为压迫、欺诈或恶意,那么这位老年人除了可以获得实际损害赔偿之外,还可以根据《加州民法通则》第3294条获得惩罚性赔偿,作为对被告的惩罚以及对他们的警示。除了惩罚性赔偿之外,《加州民法通则》第3345条还允许法院在消费者欺诈案件中在满足以下情况下判罚三倍的赔偿金: 被告明知他的行为是针对于老年人的, 被告造成了该老年人收入的损失或是严重的财产损失,而这些财产是老年人专门为退休或个人或家庭维持生计准备的,或是这些财产对于该老年人的健康或福利非常关键,并且 由于年龄和受损的心智,该老年人面对被告的非法行为远比其他公众脆弱,并且被告的行为确实对他造成了严重的精神和财产损失。 总而言之,在《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》的保护下,受害人可以获得实际损失和律师费用的赔偿。如果被告有严重不法行为,受害人还可以获得惩罚性赔偿和三倍的赔偿。由此可见,《加利福尼亚州禁止侵害老年人财务法》可以将相对很小的案子转变成有可能对股票经纪人和券商造成巨大损失和风险的案子。这样的法律保护机制为老年人提供了强有力的保护,也最大程度地扼制了那些违法分子进行犯罪作业。 如果您是投资欺诈的受害者,您应该勇敢地站出来捍卫自己的权利。如果您觉得自己或亲朋好友是侵害老年人财务犯罪的受害者,请尽快联系我们旧金山或圣地亚哥办公室的金融诉讼律师进行咨询。

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California Financial Elder Abuse Statute – A Powerful Weapon for California’s Seniors

Click here to read the Chinese version of this post America’s population is aging. As people age, their mental faculties can diminish. They can become isolated, dependent, and frightened.  Seniors who accumulated wealth over their lifetimes become attractive targets for unscrupulous people who prey on their vulnerabilities. It generally begins rather simply. A senior citizen […]

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Investment Fraud – Traps for the Unwary

Financial matters can be bewildering. Stockbrokers are supposed to help simplify the complexities and steer us in the right direction. But sometimes, stockbrokers care more about earning commissions than they do your well-being. It results in customers being stuck with dismal investments. Customers who complain are met with vigorous denials often supported by reams of […]

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401(K) Mismanagement: How to Recognize the Signs

Each year, millions of hard-working employees invest billions of dollars in their employer’s 401(k) plans because they trust their employer to provide a best of class plan. Often, however, the employer’s endeavors are tainted by a failure of effort, competence and/or loyalty.  Employees’ hard-earned retirement savings are exposed unnecessarily to wasted fees and poor investment […]

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L-Share Annuities: Stale Wine in a New Bottle

Annuities are a constant subject of litigation, and for good reason. Although the companies that pitch annuities describe them as relatively simple products, they are anything but.  These are complex contracts with high fees, long lock-up periods and bewildering disclosure documents. Basically, an annuity is a life insurance policy that is bundled with a separate […]

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Who is Lee D. Weiss? On Financial Adviser Misconduct

Not everyone will recognize the name Lee D. Weiss, but many might know or have heard of people just like him, who have engaged in a similar type of misconduct. So who is this man and what did he do? Lee D. Weiss was the primary owner and served as the managing partner of Family […]

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Private Equity Investors Beware

Private equity conjures up images of billionaires investing in success stories like Facebook and Tesla. Often, though, private equity investments come from retired persons who have labored a lifetime accumulating wealth for their golden years.  But when seniors fall prey to investments like Prometheus Law PLCMGMT LLC and Metropolitan Coffee and Concession, their golden dreams […]

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SEC Rewards Ex-Employees More Than $8 Million for Reporting Employer Misconduct

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will pay a former company employee who reported potential securities law violations between $5 million and $6 million — the third-largest award to date under the SEC’s whistleblower program. The tipster at the unnamed company had alerted the SEC to violations of securities law that the SEC […]

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Are You a Victim of a Ponzi Scheme? Find Out.

Ponzi scheme victims suffer investment fraud, which can literally rob individuals of their savings. Learn here about a Ponzi scheme and what to do if you fall victim to this investment ploy. Ponzi scheme The grandfather of Ponzi schemes was Charles Ponzi, whose ideas for growing money took fruition in the 1920s. In the case […]

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Ways to Spot 401(K) Mismanagement

A 401(k) plan is essential for any American employee who wants to save for his/her retirement. However, chances are you just take a quick look at your balance every month to make sure things are moving forward. But without looking at your statement thoroughly, how would you know if your retirement plan is being misused […]

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Do You Suspect Your Employer of 401(k) Mismanagement? Read This.

Recently, there has been an increase in cases where a current or former employee sues their employer for mismanaging the company’s 401(k) plans. The allegations have ranged from excessive fees to improper revenue sharing to poor performing or untested investment options. Many of these cases involve an employer who doubles as the investment manager for […]

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Raising Capital is a Risky Business: Here’s What You Need to Know

Entrepreneurs seeking to raise capital for their ventures will often pay “finders” a fee to source capital successfully from prospective investors. Oftentimes, these finders are not registered securities broker-dealers and are unschooled in the fair and equitable principles of the securities trade. Because their fee is based on the success of the securities sale, the […]

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