West Virginia Securities Fraud Lawyers
The Lovers State, West Virginia has a reputation for natural beauty and romance. It is a sad irony, thus, that a number of West Virginia residents have been victimized in recent times with romance scams and other fraudulent schemes. Romance scams have long been around in various forms but have taken off in recent times with the popularity of online dating and fake dating sites, luring people into sending money, typically without ever having met. These scams take millions from Americans each year and are heavily underreported because of the extreme embarrassment victims feel after being duped. The elderly are often the most vulnerable targets, which, according to the FBI, has accounted for $1.7 billion in losses for 92,000 victims over the age of 60. The same report suggested that West Virginians over 60 lost over $3 million to romance scams in 2021. Malecki Law is a securities fraud law firm that has investigated and litigated against perpetrators and enablers of a variety of investment scams and frauds, including Ponzi schemes, that use unethical practices to influence investors, recovering tens of millions of dollars for seniors and other retail investors caught up in schemes perpetrated across the U.S. and abroad.
In September 2022,a 29-year-old man living in Huntington, West Virginia, was sentenced to five years of federal probation and ordered to pay $90,000 for his role in a romance fraud scheme that involved multiple perpetrators who took at least $2.5 million from more than 200 victims. The scheme took place between 2016 and 2020, whereby the fraudsters created online profiles and fictitious names with the intention of forming romantic and friend relationships with the victims. The perpetrators used these relationships to coerce vulnerable victims into sending money to various bank accounts under their control.
Romance scams are not the only frauds affecting West Virginians. Ponzi schemes, even post Bernie Madoff, are still alive and well. In March of 2021, Natalie Cochran, a pharmacist in Raleigh County was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison for her role in convincing 11 people to invest roughly $2.5 million in government contracts. One investor sent over $500,000 via wire transfer. Ms. Cochran never invested the money she took from victims, but rather put into her own personal and business bank accounts.
Malecki Law’s securities fraud lawyers work with investors and retirees to recover investment losses in a host of financial frauds, including romance scams, Ponzi schemes, and other financial frauds. To list just a few of our results and settlements:
- $7.2 million from a major brokerage firm involving a real estate-based Ponzi scheme in the Bronx;
- $3.8 million in the Biscayne Capital Ponzi scheme and theft case on behalf of Latin American investors who had their money at a U.S. brokerage firm;
- Over $1.5 million in insurance settlements for retired investors in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey from a small brokerage firm that failed to supervise one of its financial advisers; and
- Over $3.9 million in a settlement for upstate New Yorkers defrauded in a Ponzi scheme where the victims thought their funds were safe at a major U.S. brokerage firm.
Malecki Law’s securities fraud attorneys have handled numerous securities litigations, arbitrations, and mediation cases with record settlements and awards. Our team is experienced with recognizing fraudulent practices, such as identity theft, which attempt to dodge firm compliance and supervisory controls of financial entities that have a supervisory duty to be on the lookout for customer funds at risk. Financial frauds can range from improper use of funds, falsification of records, stolen identity, embezzlement, and coercion.
West Virginia seniors are particularly vulnerable. Malecki Law’s securities fraud lawyers are experienced in working with seniors and retail investors of all backgrounds to recover investment funds lost to a variety of fraudulent financial schemes. If you or anyone you know has been victimized or solicited with questionable schemes, or has identified strange activity in your investment accounts, schedule a free initial consultation with a securities fraud law firm like Malecki Law, by calling (212) 943-1233, or emailing email@example.com.