The Enforcement Bureau generally conducts the initial investigation of complaints which do not involve firms or individuals registered with the Division of Securities. Listed below are some of the enforcement-related issues investors often raise:
- Misrepresentations or omissions of facts in connection with sales of securities or franchise investment opportunities
- Sales of unregistered securities or franchises
- The sale of securities by someone not registered with the division
- The misappropriation of invested funds by a person or firm selling securities or franchise investment opportunities
- Securities-related schemes to defraud and acts, practices or courses of business which operate as a fraud on investors
Before filing a complaint with the Enforcement Bureau, consumers promptly should try to resolve the matter directly with the appropriate party by requesting the return of their investment money or other action to resolve the matter. While the division is not strictly limited by the civil statutory time limitations, it is very important to keep in mind that an investor’s right to bring an action in court may be strictly limited. Investor claims based upon violations of the
Wisconsin Uniform Securities Law
are governed by
Wis. Stat. s. 551.509(10)
. Claims based upon violations of the
Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law
are governed by
Wis. Stat. s. 553.51(4)
. Investors may have other common law claims that would be governed by other statutes of limitation depending on the facts and circumstances, which could be extremely short (i.e., Wisconsin courts have held that claims for a breach of fiduciary duty are governed by the two-year intentional tort statute of limitation). The division cannot give any legal advice as to statutes of limitation regarding any specific claim. It is important to consult a private attorney as soon as possible regarding your potential remedies and the statutes of limitation which apply to them.
Use one of the options below to file a complaint with the Enforcement Bureau:
- Submit your complaint to the division using this template to email your complaint. You may attach supporting documents to your email.
- Submit your complaint by completing this Enforcement Questionnaire and email it to
DFIDLSecuritiesEnforcement@dfi.wisconsin.gov together with any supporting documentation.
- You may print your complaint and mail it to the division, together with any supporting documentation to:
Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Securities Enforcement Bureau
PO Box 1768
Madison WI 53701-1768
For any of the options above, please include copies of your investment documents and sales materials (i.e., subscription agreements, promissory notes, private placement memoranda, prospectuses, sales brochures), as well as a copy of the documentation of your investment (i.e., both sides of a canceled check, wire transfer instructions). The more information you provide, the better we will be able to investigate.
If you have questions about completing the questionnaire, contact us at (608) 266-2139, toll-free for individuals calling within the State of Wisconsin at (800) 472-4325 or email us at
We will acknowledge receipt of your inquiry or complaint. If your inquiry or complaint is outside our jurisdiction or may be better handled by another regulatory agency, we will forward it on your behalf and inform you of our having done so. If there is nothing that can be done (for example, if the problem is simply that your investment lost money or earned less than you expected because of market forces), we will inform you of this. If there is a possible violation, we will commence an investigation, in which case you will be advised of any action taken once the investigation has been completed.
Phone: (608) 266-2139