Giambrone's banking and finance team, led by Joanna Bailey, have successfully obtained a six-figure sum from a UK bank in respect of an investment fraud.  Our foreign exchange (Forex) litigation lawyers made a chargeback request was based on the grounds of breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment as well as a claim for statutory breaches against the broker company. The bank, found itself inadvertently caught up in the fraud and was no part of the initial deception perpetrated against our client.

Giulia Ghigliotti, a lawyer in the foreign exchange litigation team, said "whilst the bank promised our client that they would refund the money misappropriated by the fraudster, it still required a considerable amount of pressure to be applied to the bank to actually honour their initial undertaking to make the refund our client."

Our client is both delighted and very relieved to have had practically all the money restored.  The bank declined to pay absolutely all the money and retained a relatively small sum, presumably to off-set their administration costs.

The lawyers in Giambrone's banking and financial team, incorporating the Forex litigation team, are highly successful in retrieving funds lost in fraudulent investment schemes.  The major issue for individuals who have been defrauded is that many, if not all, fraudsters operate outside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) the regulatory framework set up to protect both novice and experienced investors.  Giambrone is in the process of developing an alternative method of recovering the money that fraudulent investment brokers scam from our clients. Giambrone's Forex litigation lawyers have embarked on a test case which applies the novel strategy.

Giulia Ghigliotti further commented "whilst the majority of losses our clients' experience involve cynical and deliberate fraud; there also appears to be a growing problem with Appointed Representatives (AR) and the lack of diligent monitoring by the principal investment broker who bears the responsibility for compliance.  There are strict guidelines governing the conduct of investment brokers with regard to novice investors which should offer protection against scams.  The FCA is reviewing the situation and has invited the financial and investment industry to put forward their comments on how the AR regime is viewed and how it can be improved."

The tell-tail signs of investment fraud can be difficult to spot for a novice investor and needless to say, the fraudulent brokers are extremely plausible. The much-repeated adage relating to a proposition "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" should be applied.  Below is some guidance as to some warning signs to look out for:

  • The proposition is pitched through social media or another medium unconnected with the financial markets.
  • Initially, under the guise of friendly conversation, the individual is quizzed about any personal knowledge or knowledgeable connections (friends or relatives) with the financial markets.
  • Frequently the level of return on investment suggested is at an improbably high level, which may be hard for a novice investor to judge. Particularly if they are being assured that this is normal and they are being offered an opportunity not to be missed.
  • The individual is not allowed conduct of their own account but "helped and advised" by their broker.
  • Money is not allowed to be drawn down from the account.

The route to the restoration of money scammed by fraudsters can be a long and challenging path.  Should you believe that you have been scammed please do not hesitate to contact Giambrone's Forex litigation lawyers.

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