Did you lose money in a fraudulent investment scheme or due to stockbroker, accountant, or investment adviser fraud or negligence?
Our investment fraud recovery attorneys help fraud victims get back their hard earned money from bad brokers, brokerage firms, lawyers, financial groups, and advisers.
Investment fraud has become very complex. Americans lose tens of billions of dollars annually. MahanyLaw’s experienced investor fraud recovery attorneys have helped hundreds of investor fraud victims recover money lost to financial institutions, brokerage firms, stockbroker or investment adviser’s fraud and/or due to the negligence of CPAs or lawyers who should have been protecting those investors.
Investment Fraud schemes are endless. Some of the more common schemes include:
- Ponzi Schemes
- Unsuitable Investments
- Stockbroker Fraud
- Unregistered Investments
- Cryptocurrency – ICO Fraud
- REITs Real Estate Investment Trusts (traded REITs or non-traded REITs)
- Limited Partnerships or MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships)
- Abusive Tax Shelters or Tax Avoidance Schemes
- Oil & Gas “deals”
- Tenant in Common TIC or 1031 Real Estate Scams
- Welfare Benefit Plans (419 Plans)
- Accounting Malpractice
- Legal Malpractice
- Data Breaches and Cyber Theft
- Captive Insurance Schemes
- Phony Appraisals and “Cooked Books”
Many victims of investment fraud are embarrassed, so they hesitate in seeking to recover their money. But every day you delay greatly reduces your chance of successful recovery. Trying to recover money on your own is worse.
Some lawyers write ominous demand letters that look great to the client but have the opposite effect on fraudsters. The criminals just put more layers between you and your hard earned money.
When you hire the Mahany Law team, we immediately put together an action plan to get back your money. Our in-house team includes former government prosecutors and special agents who have a track record in finding money and bringing fraudsters to justice.
Our team knows how to leverage some of the most sophisticated legal techniques to recover your funds, techniques such as court ordered injunctions that prevent the fraudster from disposing of your funds while the case is pending and Anton Piller Orders, which allow us to search private residences and seize evidence without advance notice to the fraudster.
Don’t Feel Helpless
Investment fraud is often committed by sophisticated fraudsters who leave you feeling helpless. Often the money is transferred offshore rendering local law enforcement powerless. Not us, we have a global network of asset recovery lawyers ready to go wherever your money may be hiding.
Call now for a no-obligation no-fee conversation with a MahanyLaw investor fraud recovery lawyer to learn your rights: , 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Unsuitable Investments / Stockbroker Fraud / Investment Fraud
Stockbrokers, registered representatives and investment advisors owe many legal duties to their customers. Included is a duty to “know their customer.” That means a broker or other financial professional should understand the customer’s risk tolerance, savings, investment goals, financial sophistication, discretionary income and whether or not they are nearing retirement.
Only after the broker or rep knows all there is to know about the customer can they make investment recommendations. Unfortunately, many so-called professionals don’t bother to learn about their customers (or the investments they are recommending).
Brokers are also obligated to make recommendations that are suitable for their customer’s needs and situation. Many brokers are only interested in investments that pay them the highest commissions.
Brokers also have an obligation to perform due diligence on the investments they are recommending
Not understanding their clients’ needs, not performing due diligence, making unsuitable investments and seeking only to feather their own pockets makes for the perfect storm. The losers are inevitable the clients.
It is simple common sense that a broker shouldn’t be recommending a risky investment to someone who’s goal is preservation of capital and who needs her savings to support her retirement.
It is important to immediately give us a call when you discover that you were the victim of investment fraud. Don’t waste valuable time hoping your broker or advisor can fix the problem or recover your money. Waiting on someone else to recover your funds does not stop the statute of limitations (time period to file a lawsuit).
Call MahanyLaw now to protect your rights: 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Nontraded REITs – Real Estate Investment Trusts / Illiquid Investments
Closely related to suitability and stockbroker fraud are nontraded REITs. We give REITs and other thinly traded investment vehicles their own category.
On paper, a Real Estate Investment Trust or “REIT” is an ideal investment for folks looking for steady returns and the safety offered by real estate. Not all REITs are created equally and some carry huge risks.
Why are REITs popular? They have important tax advantages and allow ordinary people to pool their money and invest in large real estate projects such as shopping malls, apartment complexes and office buildings.
Some REITs are sold on national stock exchanges and can be freely bought and sold. Even these may still be risky depending on the quality of the real estate in which they are invested, however.
The really dangerous investments are called nontraded REITs. Another variation is the private REIT. These are considered illiquid investments and can be very difficult to sell or value. There are many other exotic investment vehicles being hawked today by brokers that are also quite illiquid.
Like the words from the popular Eagles song Hotel California, “You can check in anytime you want but you can never leave” non-traded REITs are easy to purchase but can be nearly impossible to sell. It isn’t uncommon to have to wait for 10 years to sell your shares.
For that reason, nontraded REITs and other illiquid securities are best for institutional investors. Stockbrokers should never sell these products to individual investors who need access to their capital or are nearing retirement.
Unfortunately, investment fraud involving these products is quite common. Why? Typically, nontraded REITs carry huge commissions.
Even if your broker skips town or becomes insolvent, our stockbroker fraud lawyers can usually hold their employer responsible.
Lose money in an investment scheme or fraud? Call now for a no-obligation no-fee conversation with a MahanyLaw investor fraud recovery lawyer to learn your rights: , 202.800.9791 or Report Online. We consider losses of $100,000 or more although sometimes we can pool smaller claims into a larger claim.
A Ponzi scheme is a form of investment fraud whereby the fraudster lures investors with false promises of high returns. Typically little if any of the investors money is used for the state purpose of the investment. Instead, the fraudster uses the money to pay off earlier investors. Think of a pyramid, the longer the scheme goes on, the more money the fraudster must raise to keep earlier investors happy. Sooner or later the investment crashes when there is not enough new money coming in.
Most Ponzi schemes crash with a few years but Bernie Madoff kept his scheme going for decades.
To conceal their crime, fraudsters will provide false statements to make investors think they have made significant profits.
In prosecuting Ponzi scheme cases, the trick is to locate third parties that may have facilitated the crime. The Mahany Law team seeks to impose liability on the banks, accountants and audit firms that facilitated these schemes. We even will pursue earlier investors who reaped huge profits while later investors got nothing.
Cryptocurrency / ICO Fraud
The newest frontier for fraudsters is blockchain technology – Initial Coin Offerings and Cryptocurrencies. The industry is still in its Wild West phase and fraud is everywhere.
New technologies are changing the ways people invest and spend their money. In today’s digital world, some of these new technologies appear before they are fully understood, especially by investors.
With most digital currencies, users are anonymous and it becomes nearly impossible to trace stolen funds.
Since 2017, Initial Coin Offerings have raised tens of billions of dollars. According to the SEC, “[f]raudsters often use innovations and new technologies to perpetrate fraudulent investment schemes” and “it is relatively easy for anyone to use blockchain technology to create an ICO that looks impressive, even though it might actually be a scam.”
We have seen many cryptocurrency scams. Unfortunately, recovering money from these fraudulent offerings is difficult. Brokers and others who facilitated these scams can be held responsible, however.
If you lost $200,000 in an ICO or cryptocurrency scam, we may be able to help. Contact us now for a no-obligation no-fee conversation with a MahanyLaw fraud recovery lawyer to learn your rights: , 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Legal Malpractice – Accounting Malpractice – Fiduciary Malpractice
Finding a good lawyer to take an accounting malpractice or legal malpractice cases is hard. We take the cases shunned by other lawyers.
Unfortunately for victims of legal and accounting malpractice, there is a “good ol’ boy” mentality in many areas of the country. Most lawyers simply won’t sue another lawyer, especially a local lawyer.
Lawyers, CPA firms and their malpractice insurance carriers will spare no expense in defending these claims. It can be pretty intimidating to fight a law firm or giant accounting firm. That is why you need a law firm that is both unafraid and 100% focused on representing victims (plaintiffs) in malpractice cases.
Unlike some firms that do both defense and plaintiffs work, we are not defense lawyers and we are not afraid of suing some of the largest accounting and law firms in the world.
If you have been hurt by the actions of a bad lawyer, real estate broker, CPA, actuary, insurance agent, accountant or other professional, call us. We work hard to be relentless advocates for justice. For more information, visit our sister site for both legal malpractice and accounting malpractice help or contact us at , 202.800.9791 or Report Online.
*Note in many states, victims of malpractice have just one year to file malpractice lawsuits. Don’t delay.
Fraud Recovery Involving Welfare Benefit Plans (419 Plans), Tenant in Common / TIC / 1031 Real Estate Scams, Limited Partnership Interests and Oil and Gas “Deals”
MahanyLaw has helped hundreds of investors who lost money in a wide variety of tax avoidance and fraud schemes. Many of these scams were sold by stockbrokers, accountants and insurance salespeople.
Even if the people selling these investments were honest and also duped, they and their employer may remain responsible for your losses. Financial professionals have a duty to understand their client’s needs, make suitable recommendations and conduct due diligence on the products they sell.
We are recognized as a leading authority on tenant in common (TIC) investments and 419 plan scams and have obtained millions of dollars in recovery for our clients.
Bogus Tax Shelters / Welfare Benefit Plans / 412 Plans / 419 Plans / Captive Insurance
Every few years, a new tax avoidance scheme is hatched. Typically, these schemes are accompanied by slick marketing materials and a legal opinion letter claiming substantial tax benefits.
The IRS reads these same marketing materials! In fact, they are a road map the IRS takes to you… an IRS audit road map.
Unfortunately, when trusted accountants or financial advisors recommend these products, tens of thousands of people find themselves duped each year. Invariably, the IRS obtains a list of names from the promoter, audits follow and investors find themselves with both unexpected tax bills and huge penalties.
Many of the welfare benefit plans, tax shelters and captive insurance plans sold over the last couple decades are considered abusive tax shelters. They are so bad that the IRS calls them a listed transaction. If you have such a product and don’t tell the IRS you could face additional penalties of $100,000 or $200,000 per year! That is in addition to the traditional penalties levied by the IRS.
The accountants and others who sell these products or review and approve them should know better. Unfortunately, the same slick marketing materials often dupe them. Even if an accountant didn’t directly sell you the product, they can be responsible if they failed to file the required listed transaction returns with the IRS or if they were paid to review the plan and failed to heed the many warning flags.
Call MahanyLaw now to protect your rights: 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Captive Insurance Schemes
The most recent tax avoidance scams involve offshore captive insurance arrangements. Many of these devices are legal but some promoters sell clearly unqualified products.
What makes these products especially appealing is their similarity to legitimate and similar sounding products. As consumers, we are always looking for a “deal” and when someone offers us a tax break usually only available to wealthy individuals or huge multinational corporations, we want to believe that we can easily become part of that same club.
Big corporations often use captive insurance companies but the products sold by Internet promoters and offered through unsuspecting insurance agents and accountants are often scams. Unfortunately, the agent or accountant earns a big commission and you lose you get stuck with a huge tax bill.
Fortunately, most accountants, financial advisors and insurance agents have malpractice insurance and that can be a source MahanyLaw investor recovery lawyers can pursue to recover your money.
Tenant in Common / TIC / 1031 Real Estate Scams
We have represented over 100 TIC investors and are considered a leading authority on TIC investment loss recovery.
Like REITs, on paper these investments look attractive. An IRS ruling in 2002 allowed individual investors to pool their money and invest in larger real estate projects. Unfortunately, many shady promoters seized on the opportunity to create scams loosely based on the IRS ruling. Many stockbrokers failed to conduct proper due diligence and failed to properly warn investors about the risks associated with TIC investments.
TIC investments should not be sold to investors without extensive investment experience (sophisticated investors). They also should not be marketed to those who are retired or have need to access their capital.
Often we can collect money damages for investors stuck in these investments. It is also possible to force the seller (broker-dealer of other person doing the selling) to rescind the transaction.
If you invested money in a tenant in common project and you are under foreclosure, not receiving distributions, or facing foreclosure, give us a call immediately. Time is quickly running out. Securities and state law limit the time period in which to bring a claim or defend yourself.
Call MahanyLaw now to protect your rights: 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Oil and Gas Scams
Oil and gas investments come in many forms. Common varieties include limited partnership interests and fractional ownership of leases. Typically, the promoter sells interests to raise money for securing leases and drilling. The promoter gets an upfront fee and a percentage of any production revenues. Investors get a substantial first year tax write off and an ongoing interest in future revenues.
By their very nature, oil and gas investments are speculative. The frequent and dramatic fluctuations in the price of oil in recent years have made them even more risky.
Not only are these partnership interests speculative, they are usually quite illiquid meaning they are difficult to sell. Once again, we find that some brokers tout all the advantages of oil and gas investments but fail to warn their clients of the many risks. Worse, some of these schemes are complete frauds or Ponzi schemes.
Unless you purchased from a stockbroker or third party, collecting from the failed promoter can be difficult.
Call us for a no-fee no-obligation consult on your recovery options:202.800.9791 or Report Online
Master Limited Partnerships
While many oil and gas scams are structured as master limited partnerships, not every MLP invests in oil and gas.
In recent years, limited partnership interests have become very popular. Although they can invest in a wide variety of industries, the problematic ones have several similarities:
- They are illiquid meaning they are difficult to sell if cash is needed,
- They tout above market yields,
- They advertise, steady, consistent returns, and
- They are advertised as “safe”, “secure” or “guaranteed”.
Older investors and retirees that live on fixed incomes are attracted to the notion of safety and steady payouts. Unfortunately, many of these investments are not safe and often make payouts from “reserves” which are nothing more than new investor money. In other words, they are like Ponzi schemes.
Collecting from a promoter can be difficult. Luckily, the stockbrokers, accountants, financial advisors and insurance agents that typically sell these products can be held responsible for making unsuitable recommendations, for failing to conduct due diligence and for failing to properly understand and explain the risks associated with these products. All can be held responsible for failing to properly follow state and federal securities regulations.
Accountants may have additional liability (accounting malpractice) if they were paid to review these investments and failed to heed red flags.
For a no-fee consult with a MahanyLaw fraud recovery lawyer: Call MahanyLaw now to protect your rights: 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Data Breach and Cyber Theft
It’s scary just how many different companies have your name and other personal information stored in their databases. We trust those companies to keep our identities and information secure. Unfortunately, many companies, big and small, don’t take proper safeguards to keep keep their records safe. When hackers gain access to their records, you could quickly become the victim of identity theft.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses an individual’s personally identifying information without their permission. Typically this means their name, Social Security number and banking information. Even if the fraudsters don’t wipe out your accounts, they could open new accounts in your name and destroy your credit.
How common is identity theft? The FTC says it is the fastest growing crime in America and often the fraudsters aren’t even in the United States.
The Mahany Law data breach lawyers understand how devastating a data breach can be. We can help with your data breach and identity theft losses, and have years of experience fighting class action cases on behalf of hundreds or thousands of victims. To date we have filed cases across the United States.
Are you the victim of a data breach? Contact MahanyLaw now to protect your rights: , 202.800.9791 or Report Online
Mahany Law – Your Investment Fraud Recovery Lawyers
The list of fraud schemes we handle above are simply the most common. Fraud costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars each year. We are one of the full law firms dedicated to fraud recovery. Many of us started our careers as law enforcement officers, U.S. special agents and government prosecutors. Although we are all civilians today, that doesn’t mean we have lost our dedication to protecting our clients and rooting out corruption.
If you are the victim of fraud, make Mahany Law your first call. For more information, contact us online, by email or by phone 202-800-9791. Cases accepted nationwide. All inquiries are protected by the attorney client privilege and kept confidential.
*We generally consider cases with losses of $100,000 or more.
**Know of fraud in your workplace? Talk to us confidentially. You may be entitled to a cash reward from the government.