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What type of attorney is needed to settle a fraudulent investment case?

Atlanta, GA |

Back in 2008, I had invested a significant amount with a private investment firm promising a good return ever 6 weeks. The investment product guaranteed I will not loose my principal. As the recession occurred, the investment firm explained their hardships, to which I sympathized and was patient. 5 years later, I still have not received my invested principal. I do not care about returns now, I just want to recover my principal. I still have all the documentation in place. What type of attorney can help me out? I am considering a lawsuit as a course of action now. Thanks!


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Attorney answers 5


You will need a litigator experienced in securities law matters to handle your case. If you purchased the product through a broker/dealer or someone registered with a broker/dealer, you will have to submit your claim to arbitration through FINRA. The documents you signed may also have an arbitration clause as well. An attorney is going to have to look at your documents to ascertain what causes of action you may have given the facts and circumstances of your case. One thing noticeable from your posting is that the purchase was made in 2008 - that's 5 years ago. You may well have statutes of limitation issues that can limit your avenues for relief. Nonetheless, you should sit down with a securities attorney to explore your options.

The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.


Agreed, you need a lawyer who specializes in handling securities fraud cases. Hopefully you made your investment with a licensed broker/dealer -- this will allow you to bring your case in a FINRA arbitration. If you made your investment with an unlicensed, unregistered person or entity, you will have greater challenges. Likewise, the fact that you made the investment roughly 5 years ago could pose a problem under statutes of limitations for your claims, so don't delay enforcing your rights.

Legal Information is Not Legal Advice My answer provides information about the law based on the limited information provided in the questions asked and is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The answer to the question is for educational and informational purposes only. The law differs in each jurisdiction and may be interpreted or applied differently depending on the jurisdiction or situation. Accordingly, I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney to discuss the details of your problem so you can get legal advice tailored to your particular circumstances.


I agree with the foregoing answers, and one potential problem I see is that the "good return every 6 weeks" promise is likely to trigger reasonable discovery under most state and federal securities acts very quickly.

The investment firm will likely argue, "If we really said that, then you should have discovered the fraud every six weeks after your investment that you did not receive the promised return." That's a big potential problem for you under the relevant statutes of limitations.

All may not be lost, however. Georgia common law (or the laws of the state from which the investment originated) may give you other claims that are still viable -- claims for common law fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract, etc.

Move quickly!

Remember: I'm not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Consult your own attorney.


The cause of action you would have would be for either the misrepresentation that the broker made concerning the investment or for an unsuitable investment since it appears that you wanted liquidity. If the firm was a member of FINRA you likely will have to arbitrate your case through FINRA. This is good and bad. It is good because most states allow you to utilize a lawyer who specializes in FINRA actions from just about anywhere in the country. It also means resolution will be quick and you will not have to go through a deposition. It is bad because the arbitrators are not necessarily your peers and there is very little opportunity to appeal. Best way to find an attorney specializing in these cases is to go to PIABA.Org.

Please keep in mind that we do not represent you and that more information would be needed to fully and accurately evaluate your case. Further, you should seek representation because your matter is governed by strict time limits.

Neal Jonathan Blaher

Neal Jonathan Blaher

Posted is one of your better starting points to find an attorney. It is the oldest association of attorneys representing investors in securities arbitration, and has been around for over 20 years now. While it was once THE center of experienced attorneys in the field, many such attorneys, for reasons unimportant here, elected not to be a part of the organization anymore, so there are many out there who will not be found in that network.


All good answers above. The attorney of your choice should be experienced in either securities litigation or securities arbitration, depending on who the person/entity was that sold you the investment. Also supplementing the foregoing answers, if the firm was a registered investment adviser, you may have signed an investment advisory agreement which may or may not have had a pre-dispute clause. If the claim is bound to arbitration before FINRA you also have a six year eligibility requirement despite any applicable statutes of limitation. If you wait on your claim and it has been over six years then the respondent may move to dismiss the matter, prior to a final hearing, on the basis of the six-year eligibility rule.

Neal Jonathan Blaher

Neal Jonathan Blaher


This is a good distinction that others have not pointed out to you. There is a difference between a "broker/dealer" who actually process securities transactions in the marketplace, and an "investment advisory firm" that gives advice but ordinarily executes or processes transactions through an independent entity. The importance is this: Broker/dealers usually limit you to this "FINRA arbitration" process. FINRA is the brokerage industry's own self-regulatory organization, which has pluses and minuses. If you are dealing with an investment advisory firm, FINRA is not an option, and you may be stuck with the grossly overpriced American Arbitration Association (AAA) or similar private arbitration forum.

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