Securities fraud is not a phrase an investor wants to hear or throw around lightly. Yet, securities fraud does happen. You buy into this or that security that is supposed to pay "x" percent or dollars by a certain date or accumulate over years, and then, unexpectedly, you do not get what you were promised, or you get nothing at all. If you invested in a security and did not get the money promised, you need to sue. Here is what you need to prove your case and get what is owed you.
Your Original Contract
When you purchased a security, you signed a contract. Every last detail of what you are owed, the expected return, etc., is in that contract. You need to bring that to your securities attorney when you meet for the first time. He or she will need to read over the contract and the clauses that you think apply to your case.
Sometimes the terms of your original contract are subject to change. (These terms will be expressly written in your original contract as "subject to change.") This happens most often when company securities split to create additional securities for purchase, or when you agree to allow your "shares" to split to create more for your portfolio. These updated contracts may negate the clauses to which you are referring with regards to what you expected to receive on your investment. Your lawyer can look over these updated contracts to see if you even have a case yet.
Proof of Income on the Securities
If you received a check for your investment, you should not cash it. Cashing it insinuates that you accept your gains, regardless of what they are. This could cause a legal issue if you intend to pursue what is fully owed to you. Whether you have cashed the check or not, bring it with you when you meet with the lawyer to show how much money you believe you were shortchanged on your investment.
Sadly, greenhorn investors do not realize that there are so many different kinds of securities, and each kind comes with its own set of laws. Hopefully, the securities you purchased and hoped to profit on have a set of governing laws that will ensure that you get your money. Only your lawyer can help you figure it out. For more information, contact an experienced securities attorney.
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