Every year, thousands of U.S. investors lose money to fraud and other securities law violations. In some cases, harmed investors may be eligible to receive money recovered from fraudsters. The resources below provide information about some of the ways harmed investors may recover money.
It is important to understand that not all harmed investors will be able to recover money. Investors who do recover money may receive substantially less than their losses.
- Investor Bulletin: How Victims of Securities Law Violations May Recover Money (view document in SPANISH – translated version)
Disgorgement and Fair Funds
The SEC publishes information about plans of disgorgement or fair fund plans in administrative proceedings. Sometimes a successful SEC enforcement action results in recovered funds being distributed to harmed investors.
- Information for Harmed Investors
- Distributions in Commission Administrative Proceedings: Notices and Orders Pertaining to Disgorgement and Fair Funds
Brokerage Account Protection
- Customer Protection Rule
- Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
- Investor Publication: What Happens When Public Companies Go Bankrupt
- Investor Bulletin: Bankruptcy for a Public Company
- Bankruptcy Judges Division’s Public Information Series pamphlet on Bankruptcy Basics
SEC Enforcement Actions
Information about filed SEC enforcement actions is posted on SEC.gov:
Private Class Actions
In some cases, a private party may file a lawsuit on behalf of all harmed investors. This is separate from any enforcement action filed by the SEC.
- Visit the website of the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse to find out whether a private lawsuit relating to your investment has been filed.
Investors who have already been victimized by fraudsters may be at risk of being taken advantage of again.
- Investor Alert: What You Should Know About Asset Recovery Companies
- Investor Alert: Beware of Government Impersonators Targeting Fraud Victims
- FBI Victim Assistance contains resources for victims of crimes investigated by the FBI. In some cases, the FBI will have a criminal investigation involving the same conduct as the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
- An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud (by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National Center for Victims of Crime) contains guidance for anyone providing help to victims.
- Investment Fraud Victim Recovery Checklist (by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National Center for Victims of Crime)
Report possible securities fraud to the SEC. Call OIEA at 1-800-732-0330, ask a question using this online form, or email us at Help@SEC.gov. Visit Investor.gov, the SEC’s website for individual investors.