Securities investing and trading is carefully regulated by rules and laws for the protection of public investors. The violation of these rules, particularly through various deceptive actions and schemes to cheat or take advantage of investors, is commonly known as securities fraud. Securities fraud may be committed by:
The majority of investment advisors and stockbrokers are honest, decent individuals who follow the rules of the securities industry and provide a valuable service to the public. Unfortunately there are some unethical and dishonest investment advisors and there are some brokerage firms that do not supervise their brokers and accounts as carefully as they are required. If you invest in securities (stocks, bonds, options, limited partnerships, mutual funds, certain commodities, etc.) and you have experienced problems with your investments, your stockbroker or investment advisor, you may be a victim of securities fraud. Most investors who have been defrauded do not know what happened to their investments until it is too late. But even after the losses have occurred, you have certain rights of recourse which you should be aware of which may provide you an opportunity to recover your losses from a stockbroker or brokerage firm. You may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of income that their investments should have been generating, interest on the losses and legal fees.If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have been a victim of securities fraud:
Landmark Enforcement Action Paves the Way for Sweeping Investment Reform
In April 2002, a joint investigation was coordinated by three major investment firms for fraud. Those firms were Citigroup’s Salomon Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse First Boston. When the joint investigation had been completed, it was found that for the approximate period of mid-1999 through mid-2001 or later, a total of ten investment firms and two well-known stock analysts had engaged in acts and practices that created or maintained inappropriate influence by investment banking over research analysts, thereby imposing conflicts of interest on research analysts that the firms failed to manage in an adequate or appropriate manner. In addition, the regulators found supervisory deficiencies at every firm. An landmark global settlement of $1.4 billion was made in December 2002 but was not finalized until April 28, 2003. Following the standard practice in resolving such disputes with the commission, the firms and the research analysts neither admitted nor denied the allegations. Dramatic changes are now underway to reform future practices in the investment industry, including separating the research and investment banking departments at the firms, how research is reviewed and supervised, and making independent research available to investors.
The ten firms in the global settlement are:
The two stock analysts are:
In the final settlement, the firms agreed to pay $487.5 million in penalties, $432.5 million for independent research, $80 million for investor education, and $375.5 million in restitution for investors; Mr. Blodget agreed to pay $4 million and Mr. Grubman $15 million to settle the charges against them.
The fines, restitution and other penalties were divided as follows:
The companies will bear the brunt of the penalties. Under tax law, none of the $487.5 million in penalties is deductible and the firms agreed not to seek reimbursement under their insurance policies. Prosecutors also inserted a clause in the settlement that might make it harder for the firms to try to deduct any of the $512.5 million in independent research and investor education.
Recourse for Individual Investors, while providing $375.5 million in restitution that can be sought by investors, how much individual investors might actually recoup of their losses is still unknown. Federal and state officials have said that one aim of the settlement was to provide evidence to assist shareholders in private lawsuits and arbitration efforts and Wall Street executives have acknowledged that the findings of the regulators would probably draw more lawsuits against their firms.
Following is a list of stocks which were included in the various settlement agreements:
Robert Boyd and Associates serves the entire state of Mississippi, such as the following cities: Jackson, Clinton, Byram, Raymond, Terry, Bolton, Edwards, Brandon, Pearl, Brookhaven, Canton, Crystal Springs, Fayette, Florence, Hazlehurst, Lexington, Marion, Newton, Port Gibson, Richland, Madison, Ridgeland, McComb, Summit, Vicksburg, Wesson, Woodville, Yazoo City, Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Moss Point, Pass Christian, Waveland, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Columbus, Columbia, Corinth, Greenville, Greenwood, Grenada, Hattiesburg, Magee, Tylertown, Laurel, Lucedale, Meridian, Natchez, Olive Branch, Southaven, Oxford, Philadelphia, Picayune, Starkville, Tupelo, Batesville, Aberdeen, Belzoni, Bentonia, Carthage, Kosciusko, Louisville, Cleveland, Leland, Clarksdale, Durant, Lexington, Ellisville, Florence, Flowood, Forest, Flora, Hollandale, Holly Springs, Horn Lake, Houston, Indianola, New Albany, Senatobia, Raleigh, Waynesboro, Wiggins, and Winona.
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