How to Defend Yourself in Securities Fraud Cases
Thousands of once aggressive stock traders who’ve spent eons allegedly making sound investment decisions suddenly find themselves dubbed as white collar frauds for poor financial choices. These are normally upstanding citizens well-known in financial circles in New York, California, and even rural USA.
However, there are those who commit crimes that take investor funds for the sole purpose of self-enrichment, which is often dubbed securities frauds.
In order for the government to prove their case, multiple components must be present. We look into the world of financial crime in a way you’ve never experienced before.
Definition of Securities Fraud
Although this crime can be committed in multiple forms, securities fraud is generally the misrepresentation of information used by investors to make decisions for the purpose of personal financial gain. They can take the form of Ponzi schemes, high-yield investment scams, pump-and-dump stock schemes and others.
The primary goal of securities fraud is inducing an investment through the conveyance of incorrect or distorted information. Securities fraud charges come with hefty fines, prison sentences up to five years per incident, probation and other court costs. If the crime was in connection with funding a criminal organization, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) charges may accompany the securities fraud charge, which could add decades to the sentence.
Defenses to Securities Fraud Charges
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 USC 78 et. seq.), the law offering oversight to all bond and stock trading across America, established the SEC, which pursues civil and criminal charges against persons who knowingly defraud investors.
Several defenses may be raised to allegations of investment (securities) fraud, including:
- Statements weren’t fraudulent – It must be proven false statements were fraudulent by virtue of prevailing facts.
- Entrapment – In this case, the government may have coerced the defendant into creating an environment for, or participating in, securities fraud.
- Absence of intent – There must be proof the defendant intended to defraud the investor(s) in question. Raising money for a charity that suddenly closed down, for example, would not imply intent as there was no reasonable foresight such closure was possible.
- Insufficient evidence – Normally, a paper trail will be enough evidence to convict a person in financial crimes; any reasonable doubt that is raised, or any bank records (et al.) missing from discovery could result in case dismissal.
White-Collar Crimes Are Serious
Whether it’s tax evasion, short-selling stocks or wire fraud, federal white-collar crimes are often treated like murders, rapes and similar crimes against persons. If you’ve been notified an ongoing investigation into your finances and business practices may lead to an arrest, you must retain counsel immediately to help mount your defense.
Securities fraud, in all forms, may cost you freedom, future job opportunities and your right to bear arms. It’s important to take crimes where financial duplicity – regardless of amount – are being alleged.
Superior representation in all matters makes Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. an intelligent choice for defendants who need skilled legal assistance in fighting securities fraud cases. Schedule a meeting with our Palm Beach firm by calling 561-721-0552.