Russell L. Forkey Boca Raton Securities Law Firm 2020-08-26T11:01:45Z https://www.forkeylaw.com/feed/atom/ WordPress /wp-content/uploads/sites/896/2019/06/cropped-favicon-32x32.png On behalf of Russell L. Forkey, P.A. <![CDATA[Seniors are at risk for scams when banking online]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57930 2020-08-26T11:00:56Z 2020-08-26T11:01:45Z Why seniors are at risk Anyone can fall victim to fraud. Senior citizens, however, are particularly vulnerable. They make popular targets for criminals, scammers and unscrupulous individuals who would take advantage of them via online banking. Why? Seniors have spent a lifetime accumulating assets and property. This is tempting to anyone looking to line their own pockets. What’s more, many seniors do not have the technological savvy to recognize common online scams such as phishing. Old age is also when many people begin to experience intellectual decline or physical disability, which leaves them less capable of defending themselves.

How to protect seniors from scams

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help your loved one avoid online banking scams. These include:
  • Educate your loved one about internet safety
  • Install security software on their computer and other devices
  • Communicate regularly about their finances
  • Keep watch for any suspicious transactions
  • Help them to change their passwords regularly
  • Consider seeking a guardianship or conservatorship if they have lost their capacity
Granted, these precautionary measures cannot prevent every instance of fraud. If your elderly parent or relative fell prey to internet bank fraud, report the scam to authorities immediately. Consider your legal options, as you may need to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator to recover compensation for your loved one’s damages.]]>
On behalf of Russell L. Forkey, P.A. <![CDATA[Understanding your stockbroker’s fiduciary duty]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57923 2020-08-24T16:39:29Z 2020-08-24T16:41:19Z your broker owes you a fiduciary duty.

What is a fiduciary duty?

You may have heard the term fiduciary duty used in many different contexts. Many people who act in a role where other people entrust them with their assets or funds must abide by a fiduciary duty. Examples include trustees of a trust, the personal representative of a probated estate and officers of a corporation. All of these people owe a duty of loyalty and care to the people or entities they represent. They are supposed to act in a reasonable manner on behalf of the entity, treating the assets the way the owner would treat them.

Duties depend on the type of account

When looking at your stockbroker’s fiduciary duty, you must look at the type of account they are handling for you. The three main types of accounts include: Discretionary – A discretionary account gives your account executive, or broker, broad fiduciary powers. Although he or she must keep you apprised of market changes and transactions, along with the risks and benefits involved, they do not need your authorization to take action. They must manage the account responsibly and according to the objectives you agreed upon. Non-discretionary – A non-discretionary account allows the customer to make decisions about purchases and sales. The broker must act in the customer’s interest up to closing the transaction by making sound and honest recommendations, relay any risks involved, comply with the customer’s orders in a timely way and not engage in any self-dealing or misrepresentation. Once the deal is closed, the broker no longer owes a duty to the customer. Hybrid – With a hybrid account, the account executive takes control of a non-discretionary account. When they do this, they must apply the same fiduciary duty as if the account had started out as discretionary. Stockbroker misconduct can take many different forms resulting in misrepresentation and fraud. Some actions may even rise to the level of a criminal offense. If you suspect your stockbroker is not abiding by his or her fiduciary duties to you, consult with a legal professional to discuss your options.]]>
On behalf of Russell L. Forkey, P.A. <![CDATA[Gold prices have gone up—but so have gold scams]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57912 2020-08-18T19:49:36Z 2020-08-20T19:47:04Z scams currently circulating in the gold industry, plus how you can avoid them:
  • Misleading claims: Overstating the value of gold, making hyperbolic claims about investment returns and overstating scarcity has become common. Fraudsters do this to inflate value and line their own pockets. To avoid falling for a misleading claim, do plenty of research before you decide to invest.
  • “Empty vault” schemes: In a so-called empty vault scheme, a fraudulent dealer that does not have access to a secure vault tricks an investor into paying for storage anyways. Before paying for storage services, determine for certain whether the dealer has access to a secure storage facility.
  • Phishing: Garden-variety phishing scams are always prevalent. With the gold market on the rise, phishers are increasingly targeting potential investors in gold and other rare metals. To prevent phishing, do not click the links in suspicious-looking emails and beware of giving out your personal information online.
Scams may be on the rise, but this should not necessarily discourage you from purchasing gold. Research every transaction carefully so that you make wise purchases from reputable sources. And if you suspect a scam, report it to the authorities immediately.]]>
On behalf of Russell L. Forkey, P.A. <![CDATA[Insider trading has a negative impact on all investors]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57933 2020-08-19T16:35:13Z 2020-08-19T16:35:13Z The rewards are small for a big risk People who engage in insider trading often suffer from a type of tunnel vision. When a broker makes trades in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, an insider trade involving a few thousand dollars doesn’t seem like a big deal. Years ago, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart was convicted of insider trading. The illegal trading amounted to $45,000. Peanuts for someone with a net worth in the millions. Nonetheless, she still had to pay significant fines and serve a prison term.

Holding parties accountable

It doesn’t matter whether insider trading involves pennies or jaw-dropping amounts of money. It’s against the law and hurts investors who operate above board. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) tends to focus on high profile cases. While insider trading can hurt the bottom line of large companies, it’s often individual investors who place their trust in a broker who suffer the greatest amount of harm. You don’t have to wait for the SEC to act if you’ve experienced a significant financial loss as the result of insider trading. A skilled professional with experience handling matters involving broker misconduct and securities litigation can help you explore your legal options.]]>
On behalf of Russell L. Forkey, P.A. <![CDATA[Common sales pitches in precious metal fraud]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57909 2020-08-18T19:45:48Z 2020-08-18T19:45:48Z the following tactics, consider your next moves carefully.

“You can trust me.”

Reputable brokers work for reputable companies, and a company’s reputation should be easy enough to check. A shady dealer may try to convince you that their professional background or association with a specific firm, industry or organization warrants your unfailing trust alone. If a dealer offers only special credentials without other justification, their reasons for taking your investment likely are not altruistic.

“I guarantee good returns.”

The market is a living being, which means that it fluctuates almost constantly. No dealer can guarantee double or triple your initial deposit without a crystal ball. In the same line of thinking, a broker cannot make comparisons to returns on your current investments unless you provide them with that information. Keep an eye out for “too good to be true” situations that offer returns above and beyond your present investments.

“If it worked for them, it will work for you.”

Peer pressure continues to exist outside of after-school programs. By pointing to the established success of others, a dealer may try to convince you that your investment with them will be foolproof. However, without the crystal ball, they are offering you an empty promise with no way of knowing how the market will react.

“I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.”

On occasion, you will encounter a dealer who offers to tie your success together in order to set your mind at ease. Reducing dealer fees may be a ploy to get you on the hook to do them a favor.

“It’s only available for a limited time/in limited quantities.”

False windows and supply create false senses of urgency. That false sense of urgency can cause you to buy before you have time to research the dealer and the investment properly. Investments, no matter how small, should be considered carefully and thoughtfully. If you miss out on this particular investment, another will present itself in time. If you suspect that your precious metals investment has gone awry because of a fraudulent dealer, discuss your concerns with an experienced commodities and precious metals attorney.]]>
On behalf of Russell L. Forkey, P.A. <![CDATA[Look out for signs of churning]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57902 2020-08-18T18:03:44Z 2020-08-18T18:03:44Z signs of churning. Recognizing the warning signs can let you know whether you’re being taken advantage of or whether your broker is operating above board.

Times when you should be skeptical

Take particular note if:
  • You’ve noticed your broker making more trades than is normal
  • Your broker telling you to buy a large number of securities suddenly
  • Your broker refusing to explain the strategy behind their trades
To prevail on a churning claim, you must prove that your broker had control of your investments. You must also show that the number of trades was excessive. Keep in mind that what be excessive in one context may be the standard way of doing business in another. If you believe your broker is engaging in churning, you have no obligation to continue using the broker’s services. If churning has caused you to lose money, you may have legal options. You should discuss your situation with a skilled legal professional.]]>
by rforkey <![CDATA[Final Judgment Entered Against William C. Conway, Jr. and Steve Schrag in the Total Amount of $771,350 for Fraud and Deceit.]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57864 2020-05-24T23:47:57Z 2020-05-24T23:45:54Z Michael Conville, Joseph Gilmore and Beacon Construction Group, Inc. v. William C. Conway, Jr. , Steve Schrag et al, Case No. 12-33381, filed in the Circuit Court of Broward County, Florida. The final judgment was based upon a unanimous jury verdict which found Willian C. Conway, Jr. and Steven Schrag, among other defendants, guilty of fraud in the inducement, negligent misrepresentation in the inducement and conspiracy to defraud.  The judgment was predicated upon an alleged gold (precious metals scam) which originated in Africa.  A copy of the verdict form can be viewed by clicking Verdict. Contact Us: With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation. At the Boca Raton Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.  ]]> by rforkey <![CDATA[Reading and Understanding Your Margin Agreement – South and Central Florida FINRA Arbitration Attorney]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57862 2020-01-27T12:46:48Z 2020-01-27T12:46:48Z Read Your Margin Agreement: As with any type of business transaction that you are contemplating, it is important for you to read and understand fully all of the terms and conditions of any type of margin or, for that matter, loan agreement which you are considering.  The explanation of the account executive of the terms, risks and rewards of what is contained in the margin agreement is superseded by the document itself.  Moreover, the agreement will refer the reader to other rules and regulations that are incorporate, by reference, into the document.  These rules and regulations are of equal force with the terms of the margin agreement. It is for these reasons that a customer is required to sign the margin agreement to open a margin account.  The agreement may be part of your account opening agreement or may be a separate agreement. The margin agreement states that you must abide by the rules of the Federal Reserve Board, the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., and the firm where you have set up your margin account. As with most loans, the margin agreement explains the terms and conditions of the margin account. The agreement describes how the interest on the loan is calculated, how you are responsible for repaying the loan, and how the securities you purchase serve as collateral for the loan. Carefully review the agreement to determine what notice, if any, your firm must give you before selling your securities to collect the money you have borrowed. Please keep in mind that this information is being provided for educational purposes.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  If you have any questions relative to the contents of this post you should contact a qualified professional. Contact Us: With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation, commercial litigation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks, brokerage firms or U.S. companies. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation. At the Boca Raton Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage, precious metal firms and other types of business activities.
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by rforkey <![CDATA[FAQ Relating to Margin – South and Central Florida FINRA Arbitration Attorney]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57856 2020-01-27T12:31:29Z 2020-01-26T20:42:19Z Understanding Margin - Margin is borrowing money from your broker to buy a security and using your investment as collateral. Investors generally use margin to increase their purchasing power so that they can own more securities without fully paying for it.  The amount owed to the broker is called the debit balance.  Through the use of leverage, investors attempt to magnify gains on actual cash or collateral deposited into their accounts.  But at the same time, the use oft margin exposes investors to the potential for higher losses.  Another reason for borrowing money from brokers is the feature involving a no-repayment-date loan.  This feature is generally not available through other types of lending institutions, including banks.  The no-repayment feature, although very attractive, can be fraught with danger.  The investor should be made aware that if the value of securities on deposit with the broker declines substantially, the broker will require additional funds or collateral to protect the loan. There are 2 primary types of margin requirements: initial and maintenance. Initial/Reg T requirements: An initial margin requirement is the amount of funds required to satisfy a purchase or short sale of a security in a margin account. The initial margin requirement is currently 50% of the purchase price for most securities, and it is known as the Reg T or the Fed requirement, which is set by the Federal Reserve Board. In addition, most firms have minimum requirements that must be met when initially opening a margin position, which may vary from firm to firm. Maintenance requirements: Ongoing margin requirements after the purchase is complete are known as maintenance requirements, which require that you maintain a certain level of equity in your margin account. Maintenance requirements are set by the NYSE, FINRA, and/or the brokerage firm. Understand How Margin Works: Let's say you buy a stock for $50 and the price of the stock rises to $75. If you bought the stock in a cash account and paid for it in full, you'll earn a 50 percent return on your investment. But if you bought the stock on margin – paying $25 in cash and borrowing $25 from your broker – you'll earn a 100 percent return on the money you invested. Of course, you'll still owe your firm $25 plus interest. The downside to using margin is that if the stock price decreases, substantial losses can mount quickly. For example, let's say the stock you bought for $50 falls to $25. If you fully paid for the stock, you'll lose 50 percent of your money. But if you bought on margin, you'll lose 100 percent, and you still must come up with the interest you owe on the loan. In volatile markets, investors who put up an initial margin payment for a stock may, from time to time, be required to provide additional cash if the price of the stock falls. Some investors have been shocked to find out that the brokerage firm has the right to sell their securities that were bought on margin – without any notification and potentially at a substantial loss to the investor. If your broker sells your stock after the price has plummeted, then you've lost out on the chance to recoup your losses if the market bounces back. Who Should Use Margin: Investors who generally use margin are those who are aggressive and who fully understand the  risks as well as rewards in using leverage.  Conservative investors for the most part shy away from the use of margin because of the risks associated with its use.  Some of these risks are set forth below. Risks: Margin accounts can be very risky and they are not suitable for everyone. Before opening a margin account, you should fully understand that:
  • You can lose more money than you have invested;
  • You may have to deposit additional cash or securities in your account on short notice to cover market losses;
  • You may be forced to sell some or all of your securities when falling stock prices reduce the value of your securities; and
  • Your brokerage firm may sell some or all of your securities without consulting you to pay off the loan it made to you.
You can protect yourself by knowing how a margin account works and what happens if the price of the stock purchased on margin declines. Know that your firm charges you interest for borrowing money and how that will affect the total return on your investments. Be sure to ask your broker whether it makes sense for you to trade on margin in light of your financial resources, investment objectives, and tolerance for risk.  Importantly, read the margin agreement and make sure that you understand all of its terms. Please keep in mind that this information is being provided for educational purposes.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  If you have any questions relative to the contents of this post you should contact a qualified professional. Contact Us: With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation, commercial litigation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks, brokerage firms or U.S. companies. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation. At the Boca Raton Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage, precious metal firms and other types of business activities.
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by rforkey <![CDATA[FAQ: Do Florida Courts Have Jurisdiction Over A Non-Resident Who Is Alleged to Be Involved In A Conspiracy Against A Florida Resident? South and Central Florida Commercial Litigation Attorney]]> https://www.forkeylaw.com/?p=57829 2020-01-16T21:32:34Z 2020-01-05T15:32:00Z Florida Statute 48.193, which is titled "Acts subjecting persons to jurisdiction of the Courts of this state."  The elements required for pleading a civil conspiracy in Florida are (1) a conspiracy between two or more parties, (2) to do an unlawful act or to do a lawful act by unlawful means, (3) the doing of some overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, and (4) damage to the plaintiff as a result of the acts, performed in furtherance of the conspiracy. Under Florida law, civil conspiracy is a derivative of the underlying claims which form the basis of the conspiracy. The gist of a civil conspiracy is not the conspiracy itself but the civil wrong which is done through the conspiracy which results in injury to the Plaintiff. There is no independent action for civil conspiracy. Thus, generally an actionable conspiracy requires an actionable underlying tort or wrong. An act which does not constitute a basis for a cause of action against one person cannot be made the basis for a civil action for conspiracy. However, there is an exception to the rule where the plaintiff can show some peculiar power of coercion posses by the conspirators by virtue of their combination, which power an individual would not possess. For purposes of this discussion, we will assume that the elements set forth above to allege a civil conspiracy exist.  A series of Florida cases have found personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants engaged in conspiracies that include tortious or statutorily-prohibited actions as against Florida residents.  For example, telephonic, electronic or written communications into Florida, by a non-resident, may form the basis for personal jurisdiction if the alleged cause of action arises from the communications.  In addressing allegations that a non-resident defendant committed a tort in Florida though acts and communications directed into the state from outside of Florida, the appropriate inquiry is whether the tort as alleged occurred in Florida and not whether the alleged tort actually occurred. As can be seen from the above discussion, it is important to examine all of the facts underlying the cause of action alleged as to each defendant.  When dealing with a non-resident defendant, it is especially important to allege, in the complaint, all of the specific acts, of the non-resident defendant, that were committed in furtherance of the conspiracy so that the court may properly determine the issue of jurisdiction. Contact Us: With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation, commercial litigation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks, brokerage firms or U.S. companies. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation. At the Boca Raton Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage, precious metal firms and other types of business activities.]]>