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Lawmakers Push Bipartisan Bill for Investor Fraud Victims

Bipartisanship isn’t exactly a common theme in Congress these days. If there’s one thing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree on, however, it’s that government investigators should have a full arsenal of tools to go after people who commit fraud.

Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) recently introduced legislation that would strengthen the Securities Exchange Commission’s power to seek compensation for the victims of fraud. The Securities Fraud Enforcement and Investor Compensation Act would give the SEC more time to pursue those cases.

The measure, which was referred to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, is particularly intended to help combat Ponzi schemes. Those scams bank on the appearance of a profitable investing system. Schemers use new money to pay off earlier investors and make it seem like the “investments” are making profits. In reality, however, the money is often being spent elsewhere.

Disgraced investor Bernie Madoff is believed to have swindled as much as nearly $65 million from investors in the world’s largest Ponzi scheme. Madoff created false trading reports to make clients think that he was actively investing their money. Instead, he deposited the cash into a bank account and used it as a personal slush fund. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years behind bars after pleading guilty to fraud charges stemming from the scheme.

The Kennedy and Warner legislation would undo a 2017 Supreme Court decision in which the justices said the SEC has only five years to bring a lawsuit seeking to force fraudsters to repay their victims. The bill would extend that period to 10 years, giving investigators more time to uncover fraud that can be well concealed.

“As Bernie Madoff demonstrated, financial fraudsters can sometimes go on for years, even decades, before they finally get caught,” Warner said in a statement announcing the bill’s introduction. “They shouldn’t be able to rip off investors just because some arbitrary five-year window has expired.” 

Speak With an Investment Fraud Attorney

If you or a loved one has been the subject of securities fraud, it’s important to seek counsel of an experienced investment fraud lawyer.

There are a number of legal tools that you can pursue to try to get your money back and make sure that the perpetrator is held responsible for the crime. That includes by joining a securities class action. These lawsuits are typically brought by one or a small group of people, seeking to sue on behalf of a wide range of investors who have all been defrauded.

At Glancy Prongay & Murray, our investment fraud attorneys have been representing people in securities, consumer and other fraud cases for more than 25 years. We have a strong track record of success in these cases. Call us at (310) 201-9150 or contact us online to speak with an attorney today.