Investing in the stock market and other financial instruments takes a leap of faith. While most Pennsylvania investment advisors are honest with their clients, some are not, resulting in white-collar fraud. Victims of such crimes should take the proper steps to ensure they receive the appropriate assistance in various manners.
FINRA regulates financial advisors
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a self-governing agency that regulates and enforces activity on the New York Stock Exchange, oversees its member investment advisors. FINRA has found that most victims of investment fraud suffer from severe emotional consequences after losing money in a scheme.
To help victims recover from their setbacks, FINRA recommends you do the following:
- Create an investment fraud file
- Know your rights
- Report the fraud to regulating bodies
- Report the fraud to law enforcement
- Consider your options
Creating an investment fraud file with pertinent details of what happened can be invaluable if you intend to pursue a case to recover your assets. Include documents like the police report, timeline of events, etc. Knowing and understanding your rights is also crucial to your chances and preventing future fraud. Following up regularly with law enforcement and agencies where you have reported the fraud will also help you move forward.
Recovering your assets
Although recovering lost investment assets can be difficult in some circumstances, you have legitimate ways to do so. If the brokerage you worked with is a FINRA member, you have a right to file a complaint and to enter arbitration to seek damages against them.
Filing a complaint will alert authorities to the wrongdoing but will not initiate a criminal investigation into what happened. You may be able to recover damages for your assets, but such an outcome is not guaranteed, nor is criminal prosecution.