Investment and securities fraud is a serious issue in the United States.
At Sonn Law Group, our dedicated SEC lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights and interests of investors nationwide.
We can help you take action to protect your rights, including guiding you through the process of reporting your broker complaint to the SEC and other securities industry regulators.
If you lost a substantial amount of money due to broker misconduct, please contact our law firm today to arrange a free, no obligation review of your claim.
According to a study cited by the Stanford Center for Longevity, approximately 14 percent of Americans report that they have been the victim of financial fraud.
The problem is likely far worse than these numbers show: researchers and securities regulators believe that the true figure is likely considerably higher, as many investment fraud victims simply never report the misconduct.
Reporting a Securities Law Violation to the SEC
If you lost money because of broker negligence or broker fraud, you need to take action to get the full and fair financial recovery that you deserve. Securities law violations can be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a comprehensive investigation.
Though, filing an SEC complaint is just one aspect of the legal process. The SEC’s primary objective is to regulate markets. Individual investors who have sustained illegitimate losses should always be represented by their own securities arbitration attorney.
How to File a Broker Complaint With the SEC
The SEC allows all members of the public to file a broker complaint electronically. To do so, you will need to use the official Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Complaint Form. This form generally takes between 30 and 90 minutes to complete, and it asks for:
- Basic personal identifying information:
- Background information on your broker;
- A description of the nature of the complaint; and
- A brief accounting of any related legal action that you have already taken.
If you have sustained major investment losses, and you are ready to file an SEC complaint, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced investment fraud lawyer who can help you prepare your case.
By working with a legal professional, you can be sure that federal securities regulators have your information and you can be sure that your individual legal case will move forward in the claims process so you can get full compensation for your losses.
What Will the SEC Do With My Complaint?
The SEC’s response to your broker complaint will depend entirely on the specific nature of your case. To start, the federal agency states that all claims will be thoroughly evaluated and reviewed by the proper SEC office. For example, with certain investor complaints, the case will be referred to the agency’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.
This office provides a wide array of services, ranging from helping investors initiate a FINRA arbitration claim to providing answers to basic investment questions.
In other cases, the SEC will refer broker complaints to its Division of Enforcement. This office deals with allegations that involve serious securities law violations. Your broker complaint will match up with other complaints that have already been filed with the agency by other investors.
The lawyers at the agency’s enforcement wing may even decide to bring civil charges in your case. In cases involving especially severe legal violations, the SEC may refer the case the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) so that a parallel criminal investigation can be opened into the broker’s misconduct.
SEC Investigations are Strictly Confidential
SEC investigations are somewhat of a ‘black box’. The agency operates under a very strict confidentiality policy. The SEC will almost never release any public information on any case, until the point at which charges are actually filed.
To highlight how strict the confidentiality policy is, the SEC will rarely disclose much information to you about your own complaint. This can be frustrating for investors who have been the victims of serious broker misconduct
To Get Compensation, You Should Work With an Attorney
The Securities and Exchange Commission plays a vital role in regulating our markets and protecting investors. Nonetheless, it is important for victims of broker fraud to remember that the SEC is a large bureaucracy that is focused on big goals, and large cases.
If you have been the victim of broker misconduct, filing an SEC complaint will almost certainly not be sufficient to help you recover full and fair financial compensation for your losses.
You need to be represented by your own investment fraud lawyer. Your SEC lawyer will be able to carefully review the specific circumstances of your case, and help you find the correct path to get your money back. If you were defrauded by a broker, you generally will be required to seek financial relief through the FINRA arbitration process.
Notably, your broker member may be legally liable your losses. When our legal team takes on a financial advisor fraud claim, we are prepared to:
- Carefully review all of the facts of the case;
- Help our clients assemble all documents, records, and other relevant evidence;
- Analyze the circumstances to determine the best path to recovery;
- Consider options for negotiation or mediation with the broker and their member firm;
- Initiate the FINRA arbitration process by preparing and filing a statement of claim;
- Look for opportunities to reach full settlement during the pre-hearing stages; and
- Prepare the case to take before a FINRA arbitration panel.
Contact Our SEC Lawyers Today
At Sonn Law Group, our legal practice is dedicated to protecting the legal rights and financial interests of investors. If you are considering filing a complaint against your broker, our SEC lawyers can help. To set up a free, comprehensive review of your broker complaint, please contact us today. With a main office in South Florida, we represent investors throughout the United States and North America.