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  • Attorneys David Meyer and Matthew Wilson have been selected to the list of Super Lawyers since 2011 and 2015 respectively.

  • Attorney David Meyer is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization recognizing attorneys who have secured million dollar cases.

  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ has recognized attorney David Meyer as an AV Preeminent® attorney in High Ethical Standing.

  • Attorneys David Meyer and Matthew Wilson have received a 10 out of 10 “Superb” rating on Avvo, calculated based on stringent and exhaustive criteria.

  • Attorney David Meyerhas been selected to the list of the Best Lawyers in America® for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs every year since 2011.

  • Attorney David Meyer was selected as the 2015 Lawyer of the Year for Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs for Columbus, OH by Best Lawyers®.

  • Meyer Wilson was ranked as a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for both Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs by U.S. News.

How Can a CPA Protect Their Clients from Investment Fraud?

How can a certified public accountant or tax preparer help protect their clients from becoming victims of investment fraud? Over the past 15 years, many investment fraud cases have been referred to our law firm by CPAs and other tax professionals. The fact is, CPAs can serve as a strong frontline defense in helping to detect and prevent instances of investment fraud. If you’re a CPA or tax professional, I want to talk about several red flags that you can look out for to help protect your clients from unscrupulous stock brokers and investment scammers. Excessive trading a churning is a tactic that some brokers use to generate excessive commissions.

A good rule of thumb is that if your client’s Schedule D on the Form 1040 for capital gains and losses is more than one page long, then there’s a good chance that you should look into the transactions more closely. Large losses are also a red flag that may indicate inappropriate investments, especially in the accounts of clients who have limited assets, who are recent widows, or who recently inherited funds. You should be alert to a client who expresses surprise at their losses. If your client’s 1099 from the brokerage firm reflects significant losses, then you should consider looking closely at the brokerage account statements to determine what else the client might be invested in.

Another red flag is money being returned to the client as return of principal instead of income. Sometimes, brokerage customers mistakenly believe that their principal is safe and intact, when in fact, it is being depleted through distributions that the client believes are from income. The client’s brokerage statements may not reflect the source of the distributions, however, you can reconcile distributions the client receives from reports such as the K-1s of partnerships and 1099s.

Finally, because of their unique knowledge of their clients and financial situation, CPAs may be able to detect the financial exploitation of elderly or vulnerable clients such as the recently widowed. Be on the lookout for erratic or unusual banking transactions such as frequent, large withdrawals, uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money, or the closing of CDs or accounts without regard to penalties.

By keeping an eye out for these red flags, tax professionals can play a vital role in protecting their clients from investment fraud.

Need More Information?

Investment misconduct can be complex and confusing. That’s why we’re here to help you. Visit our Common Questions page to find in depth answers directly from our attorneys. Get More Answers
Have You Been a Victim of Investment Fraud?

You trusted your financial advisor with your money, but now you're left wondering what went wrong. If you or a loved one suffered losses because of investment misconduct, Meyer Wilson can step in and fight to recover your losses. The team of investment fraud lawyers at the firm has been helping people like you since 1999 by winning judgments, settlements and verdicts worth hundreds of millions of dollars against brokerage firms, financial advisors and banks.

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