Generally, securities fraud charges are brought against stockbrokers, promoters, traders, accountants and lawyers. However, defendants can also include boiler room operators and organized crime rings as well.
Securities fraud can be both a state and federal crime
Individual states have securities fraud laws on the books, meaning that you could be charged in a state where you are suspected of committing securities fraud. At the federal level, the Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutes securities fraud cases under civil and administrative actions. The United States Department of Justice prosecutes all criminal cases. Due to blue sky laws that are similar to federal laws, a defendant can be tried and convicted of both federal and state crimes for securities fraud.
The most common types of securities fraud are churning, insider trading, outside trading, and pump and dump schemes. In some cases, online investment newsletters that appear to be objective when it comes to writing about certain stocks or trades, but who retain an underlying position from which they can profit may also constitute another form of investment fraud.
Defending against securities fraud charges
It is critical to contact a highly experienced attorney such as Ginger Kelley if you are facing securities fraud charges. Securities cases involve many complex issues and can be difficult to prove. There are several possible defenses that can be pursued as well. A defendant can claim a plaintiff did not perform enough due diligence before making an investment, or that a plaintiff failed to object to a transaction in a timely manner. Other defenses may include claiming the plaintiff was partially at fault through contributory negligence or that they needed to assume the risk.
Corporate executives can lose their jobs if they do not cooperate with SEC investigations. But if they do, it could lead to an indictment or strengthen the case against a pending defendant. That’s why it is imperative to retain a white-collar defense lawyer who is skilled in handling securities fraud cases.
The Law Office of Ginger Kelley serves clients in Newport Beach, Santa Ana and communities throughout Orange County, California.