Fighting for Investors
The Securities Fraud Lawyers at Greco & Greco, P.C. regularly represent residents from across the United States, including Hawaii, in disputes with their financial advisors, RIAs. stockbrokers, and securities salespersons. Common claims include suitability, fraud, ponzi schemes, violations of FINRA Rules, professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, misrepresentation, Reg BI (SEC Regulation best interest), and other claims. Please contact W. Scott Greco for a free attorney consultation about your case. We serve clients from all areas of Hawaii, including Honolulu, Maui, Hilo, Pearl City, Kailua, Waipahu, and Kaneohe.Decades of FINRA Arbitration Experience
If an individual investor has a dispute with a FINRA brokerage firm, financial advisor, or stock broker, he/she most likely will have to arbitrate through FINRA's Dispute Resolution system. FINRA Arbitration holds arbitration hearings in one Hawaii city, Honolulu. FINRA's Dispute Resolution system also includes mediation using a neutral mediator which is a voluntary way to settle or resolve disputes.Contingency Fees for Harmed Hawaii Investors
We understand that many of our clients cannot afford to hire an attorney because they have lost a large portion of their life savings. Our attorneys can represent harmed Hawaii investors by typically only charging a contingency fee. This means that our clients do not have to pay any attorneys fees up front, and only pay us out of monies recovered in your case.Hawaii Office of the Securities Commissioner and Hawaii Uniform Securities Act
The Hawaii Office of the Securities Commissioner works under the Hawaii Business Registration Division. It has a Securities Compliance Branch, a Securities Enforcement Branch, and an Investor Education Branch. Its website provides a portal for filing a complaint against financial advisors, broker-dealers, and registered investment advisors in Hawaii. If one might have a claim, however, it is advisable to first speak to an investment fraud attorney before filing any complaint form.
The Hawaii Uniform Securities Act provides for civil liability for wrongdoers in cases of securities fraud. This includes misstatements and omissions of material fact in the sale of securities. The civil liability section, §485A-509, provides for rescission, or the recovery of damages, costs, interest, and reasonable attorneys fees.Common Legal Claims by investors against their financial advisors in Hawaii
- Suitability/Regulation Best Interest. Prior to recommending the purchase of specific investments or a specific investment strategy to a customer in Hawaii, a FINRA financial advisor in Idaho is required to determine that the investments are suitable to that particular investor. Suitability claims have been superseded in 2020 by the broader SEC Regulation Best Interest which requires that recommendations of securities and securities strategies be in the best interest of the customer.
- Churning. Churning occurs when a broker exercises control over an account and allows the broker's interest in making commissions to override the investor's interests in the account. When a broker makes a buy or sell recommendation for an account, that broker should have the investor's best interests based on their investment objectives in mind. If the broker makes excessive buy and sell recommendations for the purposes of generating commissions for the broker by each buy and sell, that broker is engaged in churning the account.
- Unauthorized Trading. Generally, an investor can have two kinds of an account, non-discretionary and discretionary. In a typical non-discretionary account, the broker must consult with and obtain the consent of the customer prior to making a trade in the account. Unauthorized trading occurs when a broker makes trades in a non-discretionary account without the consent of the customer.
- Securities Fraud. Most of the claims in this list are subsets of securities fraud which is employing a device, scheme, or artifice to defraud, or obtaining money by means of untrue statements of material facts and failure to state material facts in violation of the Hawaii Uniform Securities Act or federal law (Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5). If a broker makes false statements to an investor or fails to advise the investor of certain important facts, the investor may be able to recover losses incurred resulting from this fraud.
- Margin Disputes. Margin trading involves borrowing money from the brokerage firm to purchase securities greater in value than the equity in an investor's account. Due to the risky nature of trading on the margin, disputes with brokers often arise as a result of significant losses. If a broker trades on the margin without the knowledge or consent of the investor, the investor may be able to recover the losses resulting from the fraud.
- Ponzi Scheme Investment Scams. Ponzi schemes generally involve promises of high returns by salespersons over short periods of time, but in reality result in stealing from Peter to pay Paul. Because returns to investors in ponzi schemes are often paid out of new investment monies from new investors, the scheme will ultimately fall apart when the new investors dry up, leaving all investors often holding a worthless investment.
- Failure to Supervise Advisor. FINRA firms in Hawaii have a duty to supervise their registered brokers, and their failure to do so may form the basis of various legal claims against them. Registered Investment Advisory firms also have a duty to supervise.
Please contact our Hawaii securities fraud lawyers for a free attorney consultation if you are a Hawaii resident and believe your financial advisor broker may be liable under one of the above claims, or for other wrongful conduct.