Securities fraud is a white collar crime that involves engaging in any kind of fraudulent or deceptive practice dealing with the sale of securities. This can occur if a person makes a false statement about a company or the value of its stock, leading others to make financial decisions based on the untrue information. This is an offense that can be prosecuted under both state and federal law.
San Antonio Securities Fraud Lawyer
Never participate in any securities fraud investigation until you have sought out experienced representation. If you are under investigation or facing charges, contact an experienced securities fraud attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. We work with clients from all over the country and varying backgrounds and fight to get the best possible results in each case.
When representing corporate executives, we help them decide whether to cooperate with an SEC civil fraud investigation. Not cooperating could mean the end of a high-paying executive job, but the information gained by the SEC will be turned over to state authorities in Texas or the Department of Justice for criminal prosecutions. An attorney can help you decide whether or not to cooperate with the investigation.
The attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr represent clients charged with white collar crimes in both federal and state courts throughout Texas. Call (210) 226-1463 for a free consultation.
Information About Securities Fraud
- Common Examples of Securities Fraud
- Charges of Securities Fraud in Federal Court
- Penalties for Securities Fraud
- Additional Resources
Securities fraud is a practice in which investors or stockbrokers make purchase or sale decisions on the basis of false or defective information, which may be tainted by financial motives. It is often alleged that these violation of state and federal securities laws resulted in losses for the clients.
Some of the most common examples of securities fraud or investment fraud includes:
- Outright theft from investors of securities or investment funds
- Misrepresenting financial products
- Fraudulent high-yield investment programs
- Ponzi schemes
- Pyramid schemes
- Misstatements on a public company’s financial reports made by business executives
- Fraudulent manipulation of the price of the security
- Abusive naked short selling
- Insider trading by corporate executives, their friend or associates
- Buying or selling securities not registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)
- Bribery or improper payments to foreign officials
- Willfully making false statements or omissions of fact in filing with the SEC
- Employees of the company accused of violations of the brooks and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which is part of federal securities law
- Fraudulent activities involving public pension plans or municipal securities
When prosecuted in the U.S. District Courts throughout Texas, the allegations involve interstate communications with prospective purchasers of securities, where such communications employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud or contain false statements or omissions of fact calculated to mislead.
Charges of securities fraud primarily consists of deceptive practices in the stock and commodity markets and occurs when investors are enticed to part with their money based on untrue statements or omissions of material facts.
The punishments for securities fraud charges are serious and include both civil and criminal penalties. In criminal investigations, the charges often lead to imprisonment. In addition to the criminal penalties, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may impose civil fines against corporations or individuals accused of securities fraud.
Securities fraud is a felony offense in Texas. However, the amount of money involved in the alleged offense would determine the degree of the felony and the severity of the penalties.
If less than $10,000 in involved in the alleged crime, the charge would be a third-degree felony, which is punishable by between two and 10 years in a state prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
If the offense involves between $10,000 and $100,000, it would be a second-degree felony. This is punishable by between two and 20 years in a state prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
If more than $100,000 is involved in the alleged crime, it would be considered a first-degree felony. This punishment could include imprisonment up to a life sentence in a state prison, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
If a “cease and desist” order has been issued to the defendant asking him or her to stop performing fraudulent activities, it is a state jail felony to violate it. This could result in up to two years in a state prison, a fine up to $5,000 or both.
SEC Tips and Complaints – The SEC acts to regulate against securities fraud by enforcing investment acts and laws. It provides whistleblowers awards for certain individuals who submit information regarding fraud or wrongdoing involving potential violations of the securities laws. Certain confidentiality protections area available for SEC tips, complaints and referrals, except for exceptions provided in Rule 21F-7 of the SEC’s Whistleblower Rules [17 C.F.R. § 240.21F-7] and Section 21F(h)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(2)].
FINRA Complaints – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is the largest independent securities regulator in the United States. The FINRA works with the SEC to enforce rules governing the activities of more than 4,100 securities firms with more than approximately 630,000 brokers. It also examines brokerage firms for compliance with these rules. The FINRA was created in July 2007 and took over the duties of the old National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) – The FCPA through 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq., makes it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. The anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA apply to all U.S. persons and certain foreign issuers of securities, and foreign firms and persons who cause, directly or through agents, an act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment to take place within the territory of the United States. Under 15 U.S.C. § 78m, it sets certain accounting provisions.
Finding the Best Securities Fraud Lawyer in Bexar County
At Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr, our attorneys have the necessarily skills to defend both individuals and corporations charged with a variety of fraud cases involving investments in state and federal courts. We represent corporate executives and other business professions, including accountants and brokers. Call (210) 226-1463 today to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.