Last time we discussed the importance of doing your homework when making investment decisions. This week, I am addressing another important aspect of protecting yourself from fraud: hiring a legal expert to help you evaluate the potential opportunity.
Tip #3 — Hire an Attorney Before You Hand Over the Money
While the idea of hiring an attorney may seem daunting and costly, it will likely save you time and money in the long run. Hiring a legal professional to oversee a transaction can prevent you from investing in a financial scam.
Experienced lawyers can help you perform due-diligence on the company and the individuals who run it. They can review court dockets and perform a background check. An experienced securities attorney can also review the structure of the offering and explain the risk disclosures associated with the proposed investment (those are in the PPM you should have received). Additionally, an attorney can tell you whether an investment is correctly structured as a private offering and complies with state and federal securities statutes.
I hate to say it, but it can be very expensive to hire a specialized securities litigator like me to try to unwind the transaction or to get your money back after its gone. And if you unknowingly invest in a Ponzi scheme it will be nearly impossible to get all of your money back.
The bottom line: When it comes to investing, the prevention is definitely better than the cure — if there is a cure at all. Hiring an attorney before you hand over your hard-earned money is a good investment in your investment.
This is the third tip in a ten-part series helping people protect themselves against scams and fraud. Fortunately, Ray Quinney and Nebeker has a team of experts that are well-versed in this area of law. For more information and resources, contact Mark W. Pugsley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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