Reports Show Increased Restitution to Investors in 2012

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two men carry dollars. Isolated 3D imageOn January 8, 2013, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the self-regulating arbitration agency of the brokerage industry, reported that it forced members to return a record $34 million dollars to injured investors in 2012. That is a whopping 75 percent increase over the $19.4 million ordered returned in 2011.

FINRA also reported that that it ordered firms and individuals to pay $68 million in penalties, down $4 million from 2011. With regards to disciplinary actions, FINRA increased its activity over 2011 by initiating 1,541 disciplinary proceedings–the fourth straight year of increased activity.

In an example of its enforcement activities, FINRA accused WR Rice Financial Services of selling $4.5 million in limited partnership shares to over 100 investors who were misled into believing that their funds would be used to invest in residential real estate in Michigan and would return almost 10 percent. According to FINRA, the money actually went directly to other companies controlled by the owner of the WR Rice Financial Services, companies that were in no position to pay back the loans.

FINRA also reported a 6 percent increase in the number of cases it referred to the SEC and state or federal law enforcement agencies in 2012. As pointed out in a press release in November of 2011, the SEC reported their own 19 percent increase in enforcement activities for 2012, including ordering over $3 billion in penalties, fines, and restitution.

While increased restitution to investors is good news for harmed investors, it nevertheless remains a difficult and challenging process when it comes to getting your money back when you are the victim of financial fraud. At the Carlson Law Firm, we have vast experience in helping investors when they have been harmed by the deceptive practices of the securities industry. If you believe you have suffered financial losses through negligence or willful misconduct, contact us online or call (619) 544-9300.