Tracy Stoneman - Stoneman Law
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Securities Fraud

Securities fraud, also known as stock fraud, brokerage fraud,  and investment fraud, is catch-all term that encompasses the panoply of wrongdoing that a stockbroker can commit. When people ask me what I do, I state, “I am a securities fraud lawyer.” Securities fraud can take the form of any deceptive practice on the part of the stockbroker in dealing with his customer regarding investment decisions. The reason that securities fraud is so encompassing is because fraud necessarily permeates all wrongdoing. Let’s take the example of an investor who is wronged for one reason: the stockbroker churned her account. This is a securities fraud claim, because the stockbroker likely did not tell the investor that he was turning her account and costing her money in commissions that she needlessly paid. This was fraudulent. Fraud can mean either a misrepresentation or an omission. Stockbrokers, by their licensing, are required to advise investors of all material facts. When they fail to do so, that constitutes a fraud claim.

Breaking Down Securities Fraud

Allegations of securities fraud are also investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). These investigations can result in civil penalties, injunctions, and sometimes crime. The SEC can decide to bring a case in federal court or within the SEC before and Administrative Law Judge. The SEC website lists the following common violations that may lead the SEC to investigate:

  • Misrepresentation or omission of important information about securities
  • Manipulating the market prices of securities
  • Stealing customers' funds or securities
  • Violating broker-dealers' responsibility to treat customers fairly
  • Insider trading (violating a trust relationship by trading on material, non-public information about a security)
  • Selling unregistered securities.

Securities fraud is also a crime that can be brought by prosecutors and which can result in imprisonment and fines. The Department of Justice has a Fraud Section that employs approximately 140 prosecutors. One of the Units within the Fraud Section is the Securities & Financial Fraud Unit. The Unit partners with United States Attorney’s Offices around the country. It also works closely with the SEC and other agencies. The Unit lists the following types of fraud cases it prosecutes:

  • Accounting Fraud
  • Commodities Fraud
  • Corporate Fraud
  • Declinations
  • Financial Institution Fraud
  • Insider Trading Fraud
  • Investment Fraud
  • Market Manipulation Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Procurement Fraud
  • Telemarketing Fraud

The last decade is riddled with several large, shocking securities fraud cases. There was Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion-dollar Ponzi scheme fraud. This case also made news because the SEC missed several opportunities to stop the fraud. Enron’s bankruptcy in 2001 shocked the world when a massive accounting fraud wiped out $78 billion dollars in stock market value. This fraud led to the collapse of Arthur Anderson and the Saar Bain – Oxley Act of 2002. Then there was the fraud-induced bankruptcy of WorldCom, which resulted in a fraud conviction of its CEO Bernard Ebbers, who is serving 25 years in federal prison. The government had to take over Fannie Mae in 2008 because the company had misled investors about the extent of its holdings of higher–risk mortgage loans during the financial crisis.

Contact Ms. Stoneman if you think you've been a victim of securities fraud.

- Stoneman Law Offices - Texas & Colorado. (800) 783-0748 Free Consultation - Representing Clients Nationwide

Client Reviews
If you suspect securities or brokerage fraud against your hard-earned investments and need an advocate, call Tracy Pride Stoneman - NOW! I was a victim of churning, improper sale of unsuitable private placements, compliance violations, and more. I blamed myself at first and didn't think I had a case, but I was referred to Tracy after another lawyer balked, thinking all was lost. She took the emotion out of it, got down to the facts, made the case, and in hands-on fashion worked hard for the best result possible. She's an excellent communicator and the kind of experienced securities arbitration lawyer you need in your corner. Ms. Stoneman achieved a settlement for me that far exceeded expectations. She has my highest recommendation. Jeffrey B.
Tracy was a wonderful lawyer in my and my husband's huge case against Prudential Securities. She was relentless in going after the stockbroker and firm, determined to obtain all of the documents that helped our case and hurt theirs (that's why the firm didn't want to produce them!). No matter what curve ball the brokerage firm threw, Tracy came up with an angle to overcome it. My husband always commented how smart Tracy was in handling our case. Throughout it all, Tracy was extremely cheerful and easy to work with - unlike most lawyers I know! Carolyn W.
I think that you did a great job for the Tylers, and I believe you are one of the most organized and effective attorneys I have worked with. John B.