Securities Fraud Defense Lawyer
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1348, Securities and Commodities Fraud are punishable by imprisonment of up to 25 years.
Oberheiden, P.C. is a national criminal defense firm that represents clients facing serious allegations of securities fraud and other state and federal white collar crimes.
Securities Fraud Explained
Stock brokers, financial advisors, market analysts, and other professionals operating in the securities market are subject to strict regulations policed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other federal authorities. With the constantly-changing regulatory landscape, brokers, advisors, and others need to be extremely sensitive to their legal obligations. In light of numerous high-profile frauds perpetrated since the turn of the century, even simple oversights can lead to serious criminal charges.
At the Oberheiden, P.C., we represent individual and corporate clients nationwide in securities fraud investigations and criminal trials. We handle cases involving these and other allegations:
- Front Running. Front running is the practice of buying securities just before a brokerage announces a favorable recommendation or buys a large block of shares. Using inside information for personal gain in this manner is prohibited by federal law.
- Selling Securities Without a License. The United States securities market is tightly regulated, and all individuals who sell securities must be registered with the SEC. Selling securities without a valid license may constitute a serious federal offense.
- Selling Unregistered Securities. With very limited exceptions, securities offered to the public must be registered with the SEC. Sale of unregistered securities constitutes fraud and is a violation of federal law.
- Account Churning. Churning is the practice of making an excessive number of trades in order to generate commissions. As a broker or financial advisor, you must put your client’s interests first. Using clients’ funds to generate commissions is a surefire way to draw the attention of federal authorities.
- Embezzlement. When you take money from an investor or a corporate account, you may be facing securities fraud and other criminal charges.
- Providing False Information to Buyers or Sellers. You can also face charges for securities fraud if you misrepresent market projections, the value of a stock, the level of risk involved in a particular investment, or any other material information.
- Making Unauthorized Trades and Unsuitable Investments. If you make trades without an investor’s authorization, or if you make trades that do not align with their investment objectives, you may face charges for securities fraud. Even if you are managing a discretionary account – which allows you to make certain investment decisions for your clients – you can still be held civilly and criminally liable for making unsuitable and other fraudulent trades.
We also represent corporate officers and employees accused of securities fraud. Two of the most common situations we see involve insider trading and issues around corporate reporting and public disclosures:
As an employee or officer of a publicly-traded company, you may have access to inside information that is not available to the general public. While it can be tempting to use this information to opportunistically buy or sell your company’s stock before the news hits the market, doing so can be a big mistake. This is known as insider trading, and is strictly prohibited by U.S. federal securities laws. Violators can face up to 20 years in prison and $5 million in fines (or up to $25 million for corporate defendants) for a single offense.
Corporate Reporting and Disclosure Violations
Corporate insiders are also prohibited from disseminating false information in order to pump up their company’s stock value or prevent major stock market losses. Examples of prohibited practices include:
- Making false accounting entries
- Making false statements to the company’s auditors
- Publishing inaccurate press releases and distributing other false information
- Filing inaccurate quarterly or annual reports
- Promising exaggerated returns on investments
- Committing violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other federal laws
Defending Against Securities Fraud Charges
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers and former federal prosecutors have years of experience representing individuals and corporations that are under investigation or facing charges for federal crimes. We work with FBI agents, CPAs, forensic fraud examiners, and former federal prosecutors that are intimately familiar with the arguments, resources, and strategies that the government uses to prosecute claims for securities law violations. When you hire Oberheiden, P.C., you can count on our extensive knowledge and deep insights to develop the strongest possible defense to your criminal charges
Penalties for Securities Fraud
Securities and Commodities Fraud are punishable by imprisonment of up to 25 years.
Schedule an Initial Consultation with Oberheiden, P.C.
If you are facing criminal charges or believe you may be under investigation for securities fraud, we encourage you to contact us right away. The sooner you call, the sooner we can take action to protect and enforce your legal rights. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, contact us online or call (888) 727-0472 today.