High-profile investment fraud cases have drawn attention to the issue of investor fraud. Financial crimes and wrongdoing have been pursued by authorities throughout the United States. While these concerns have been pursued primarily in major money centers throughout the U.S., the issue of investor fraud is also an issue on Main Street and in smaller cities and towns through the U.S. Victims of Ponzi schemes and other types of investment fraud can be found in smaller communities throughout the U.S., as well in major cities.
Unfortunately, investor fraud can impact anyone and typically occurs in the context of a trust relationship. At times, an investment opportunity that was not intended as a Ponzi scheme can become one when the economy takes a turn for the worse and investment managers choose to mislead investors instead of truthfully representing the investment's returns, or lack thereof. A downturn in economic times also often results in Ponzi schemes because new investments are required to repay earlier investors as their investments dry up.
A number of individuals have been convicted of investment fraud throughout the U.S. for cheating investors out of millions of dollars through investment schemes and fraud. Investment fraud is a high priority for the U.S. Department of Justice; between 2008 and 2011, prosecutions for investor fraud have increased. In addition to the criminal prosecutions and penalties that perpetrators of fraud may face, however, fraudsters also may be subject to civil legal remedies.
The impact of investment fraud can be devastating on middle class and everyday victims of Ponzi schemes and other types of investment fraud. Because of the serious nature of investment fraud, it is important that victims be familiar with how to better protect themselves from investor fraud, but also with all of the ways that the legal process can protect them. Bringing a claim for fraud or damages may be one option for victims of investment fraud to consider when faced with the devastating crime.