SECURITIES FRAUD Definition

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SECURITIES FRAUD, in most cases, is nothing more than stealing. Federal and state securities laws contain more technical definitions. But when investors are enticed into purchasing security instruments based on untrue data, statements or promises, it is securities fraud.

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MARGIN is a. in accounting see GROSS MARGIN; or, b. in securities, it is the process whereby investors are allowed to buy securities on credit. By buying on margin, the investor significantly increases the leverage, or risk/return potential, of the investment. For example, a purchase of $100 worth of stock with cash of $50 means a four to one increase in value if the stock doubles (versus a two to one increase if the purchase is all cash). On the other hand, if the stock declines, the investor would be forced either to put up more cash or sell the stock at a loss to meet margin requirements established by the Federal Reserve Bank. The margin rules currently stipulate that an investor must maintain 50% of the total market value of the securities in the account in cash. 

QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (QDRO) is when a state court allocates an interest in a qualified retirement plan to a former spouse through a qualified domestic relations order. Payments made to a former spouse as the result of a QDRO will not result in the taxpayer being assessed a penalty for early withdrawal from the plan; the former spouse will be taxed on the benefits when received, or the benefits can be rolled over tax free into an IRS or another qualified retirement plan.

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