Convictions for securities fraud can come with hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. In addition, businesspeople who have been found guilty of violating federal securities laws can be forbidden from holding positions of power in the future, if a judge orders that they can no longer serve as a director or officer of a public company. Because charges for fraud can impact not only your liberty, but also your professional wellbeing, you should contact a Chicago-area fraud defense attorney immediately if you have come under suspicion or investigation.
The Securities Exchange Commission, the federal agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes relating to the trade of securities, along with the FBI, has been cracking down on financial institutions and agents who have run afoul of the complex regulations laid out in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Under this law, it is unlawful to knowingly defraud anyone in connection with any security of an issuer with a class of securities registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In general, stocks, bonds, options, and other securities must be registered, with the aim of offering a measure of protection to investors looking to buy securities. Sellers are required to disclose important financial information about their securities, so potential investors can make informed decisions about purchasing securities from a particular entity. If a buyer can prove that a seller failed to provide or complete accurate information about their securities, the buyer can recover any financial losses that they suffered in connection with their purchase. Insider trading, which involves the violation of a the duty to withhold material nonpublic information about a particular security, also comes under the purview of the SEA. An Illinois defense attorney will be able to analyze your case and help you determine the best course of action.
Punishments for securities fraud under federal law can include staggering fines and imprisonment for up to 25 years, or both. Of the three levels of financial penalty that the SEC can pursue during prosecution, it will often opt for the highest level when the alleged loss to investors is substantial.
The FBI focuses on securities fraud of all types, including high-yield investment fraud, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, advanced fee schemes, foreign currency fraud, broker embezzlement, hedge fund-related fraud, and late day trading. If you have come under investigation for securities fraud or other white collar crimes by the FBI or SEC, or allegations have surfaced that you or your business has violated the Securities Exchange Act or related SEC regulations, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Goldman & Associates will advocate tenaciously for you and your case. Contact our Chicago-area law office today for a free consultation.