We've all seen them. Ads and billboards where business claims it's the "world's best" whatever--for some reason we instantly think of pizza or burgers. Generally we take these outlandish claims with a grain or salt (or a shake of oregano). But in the world of private placement offerings, false advertising is no joke. Especially not to FINRA. As usual, the regulatory agency is out to punish private companies who sell or attempt to sell the public any type of securities under false pretenses or based on misinformation.
A recent article on Yahoo finance reminded us to talk about what an important role advertising has to play in the securities industry, and how often advertising is used to manipulate unsophisticated investors into shady deals. For example, from the article:
Now, this is a particularly large and egregious case. But deceitful deals like this are being pitched to unsuspecting investors all the time. As we've mentioned many times before, if you're not an investment professional yourself, before you consider getting involved in a private placement or REIT like the one described above--or frankly any kind of investment offering--consult a trusted financial adviser and get their opinion first. Otherwise you could become another alarming statistic. After all, in 2012 alone, FINRA reported $10.4 million in fines from cases involving alleged advertising violations. And that's not even accounting for the tens of millions of dollars in restitutions FINRA ordered.
If, unfortunately, it's too late, and you've already been the victim of misleading advertising for securities, please contact us immediately to discuss your options.