Several investment fraud schemes targeting retirees have been in the media recently. However, Florida readers should know that broker misconduct and securities fraud affect even young, high profile clients. A recent story illustrates this point.

According to enforcement officials at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Fort Lauderdale financial adviser may have taken advantage of 31 pro football players. The adviser convinced the players to make high-risk investments in a casino. However, it was only a short matter of time before the casino filed for bankruptcy, reportedly owing $68 million to creditors. Depending on the terms of the bankruptcy, the players may very well never recoup their collective losses of about $40 million.

FINRA recently announced that it had barred the adviser from the securities industry, accusing him of providing unsuitable and misrepresented investments and services. The adviser may have been improperly motivated by a financial incentive: He received $500,000 and a 4 percent ownership share for the referrals.

Sadly, Florida investors who rely on unprofessional or fraudulent advisers continue to lose thousands or millions of dollars each year. To make matters worse, the investments may no longer be solvent by the time the fraud or misconduct is discovered.

With the help of a securities fraud and commercial litigation attorney, an investor might be able to proactively guard against misleading information. An attorney can review the actions of a brokerage firm or stockbroker and determine if any misconduct has occurred. If that wrongdoing has already caused financial losses, an attorney can bring a securities fraud lawsuit to help investors recoup their losses.

Source:, “31 NFL players lose $40M, thanks to Broward adviser, investigators say,” Donna Gehrke-White, March 11, 2013

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