Fighting for Investors
The Securities Fraud Lawyers at Greco & Greco, P.C. regularly represent residents from across the country, including Maine, in disputes with their financial advisors, FINRA representatives, stockbrokers, RIAs, and securities salespersons. Common claims include suitability, fraud, ponzi schemes, violations of FINRA Rules, professional malpractice, misrepresentation, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, 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 Maine, including Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, Auburn, Biddeford, Westbrook, Saco, Augusta, and Brunswick.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 Maine city, Augusta. FINRA's Dispute Resolution system also includes mediation which is a voluntary way to settle or resolve disputes.Contingency Fees for Harmed Maine 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 Maine 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.Maine Office of Securities and Maine Uniform Securities Act
The securities regulator for the state of Maine is the Maine Office of Securities. The Office licenses Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers in Maine, protects Maine investors, investigates and prosecutes violations of the securities laws in Maine, and reviews registration statements for securities issuers. Its website also provides investor education and provides a link to file a complaint regarding securities issues in Maine. Any investor considering filing a complaint should also consult with an attorney to determine what steps may be taken to protect their interests.
The Office of Securities website also provides links to the Maine Uniform Securities Act and Maine Securities Rules. The Maine Securities Act, Section 16509, provides for civil liability for securities fraud in Maine. This includes misrepresentations of material fact and omissions of material fact in the sale of securities. Damages under the Act include rescission, interest, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and costs.Common Legal Claims by investors against their financial advisors in Maine
- Suitability/Regulation Best Interest. Prior to recommending the purchase of specific investments or a specific investment strategy to a customer, a FINRA financial advisor in Maine is required to determine that the investments are suitable to that particular investor. FINRA 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 Maine 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 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.
If you are a Maine resident who has suffered losses due to the misconduct of your financial advisor or broker, please contact our securities fraud lawyers for a free attorney consultation.