San Francisco, CA Securities Fraud Lawyer
There are many types of fraud that can result in federal charges, including wire fraud and mail fraud. One of the most serious charges of fraud one can face is securities fraud. While California and other states do have security fraud laws on the books, the majority of crimes are handled under federal statutes. If you are being investigated or have already been charged, you need to contact a San Francisco, CA securities fraud lawyer to help defend you against these allegations.
What Is Securities Fraud?
Security fraud is considered a white-collar crime. Securities refer to different types of investments, including banknotes, corporate stocks, investment contracts, and municipal bonds. Security fraud occurs when one party cheats, deceives, lies, or steals another party for financial gain using one or more securities.
There are several types of securities fraud that can be charged:
- Churning: This type of securities fraud occurs when a broker pressures a person to invest excessively into one security in order for the broker to earn more from the commission and fees associated with those investments.
- Insider trading: This type of securities fraud occurs when a party associated with a securities company (i.e., stock market investment company) shares information that is not available to the public. Under the law, if the information is not available to the public then no one in the company is allowed to leak that information to anyone.
- Misrepresentation: As a San Francisco, CA securities fraud lawyer can explain, this type of securities fraud is the opposite of insider trading. It occurs when a broker or other trusted individual lies about how a security is predicted to perform in order to increase the sale of the stock.
What Are the Penalties for Securities Fraud?
Securities fraud is a crime in which laws set to protect investors and securities traders are violated. Perpetrators of securities fraud may include stockbrokers, analysts, brokerage firms, corporations, investment banks, and private investors. For example, an analyst at a brokerage firm may give a stock a favorable rating in order to secure the company’s investment banking business, despite knowing that the stock is not a smart buy for investors. In another example, a private investor may commit securities fraud by acting on inside information.
Federal investigators do not take crimes of security fraud lightly and are aggressive when it comes to prosecution. If a person is convicted of securities fraud, they face up to five years in a federal prison. They can also be fined between $10,000 and $5 million. Any sentence will also likely include full restitution to any and all victims of the fraud. Under federal law, those victims may also file a civil lawsuit against the convicted party for damages above and beyond the actual money stolen in the fraud.
A conviction for securities fraud can involve significant penalties for anyone involved. Securities fraud can be punished both with civil penalties, such as fines or license restriction, as well as criminal penalties, such as fines and prison.
- Fines. Securities fraud can involve very high fines, though the amount of fine will depend upon the circumstances of the case. In some situations, such as in cases of insider trading, fines of up to $5 million are possible, while fines for other types of securities fraud can be $10,000 or more.
- Incarceration. A conviction for securities fraud can also result in a prison sentence. Any conviction for a federal securities fraud crime can result in a 5-year federal prison sentence per offense.
- Probation. Probation is also a possible penalty for securities fraud, especially when there is only a single instance of fraud or it involves offenses which didn’t result in any financial loss. Probation usually lasts several years, though terms of 5 years or more are possible. While on probation, the probationer must regularly meet with a probation monitor and comply with any conditions imposed by the court, such as not committing more crimes, submitting to drug testing, and paying all fines and restitution.
- Restitution. Because securities fraud often involves investors, employees, clients, or others who suffer monetary loss as a result of the fraud, courts make restitution part of the sentence. When ordered to pay restitution, a person convicted of securities fraud must repay the money lost as a result of the fraudulent activity. The restitution must be paid in addition to any fines.
Are You Being Investigated?
If you are being investigated for securities fraud, or you have already been charged, you need to retain the services of an aggressive and skilled securities fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA right away. The sooner a lawyer can begin building your defense, the better your chances are for a more positive outcome. Contact Morales Law Firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to find out how we can help.
Seek Legal Help
Securities fraud is a crime that typically involves complicated facts and extensive government investigations, and one that can lead to lengthy jail sentences and stiff fines if you are convicted. Being convicted of securities fraud can also ruin your career and permanently change the direction of your life. Anytime you’re facing a securities fraud charge, or are being investigated for this crime, you need to speak to a securities fraud lawyer San Francisco, CA as soon as possible, and always before you make any statements to the police or investigators. An experienced securities fraud lawyer San Francisco, CA will be able to evaluate any case against you and provide you legal advice based on the law and knowledge of the prosecutors, courts, and complicated regulations surrounding securities transactions. You need to speak to our securities fraud lawyer San Francisco, CA securities fraud lawyer San Francisco, CA immediately upon learning you are suspected of, or charged with, any securities fraud crime.
Clearing Your Name with a Securities Fraud Lawyer
A securities fraud lawyer in San Francisco, California can help you if you’re under investigation, so you should reach out to The Morales Law Firm as soon as possible. You don’t want to end up on the news for something you had nothing to do with: Securities fraud can be committed by individuals or companies, and if you were just an employee on the sidelines of a company that had some less-than-ethical practices, you shouldn’t be punished.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re under investigation for securities fraud, but you should remember that you haven’t been convicted yet, and your trusted legal team can help you navigate the rocky road to come. Securities fraud comes in many shapes and sizes, and it’s important to learn more about some notable cases so you understand what’s at stake, and what you could be tried for.
Bernie Madoff and Securities Fraud
Bernie Madoff made the news for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He was eventually thrown in prison for defrauding thousands of investors out of billions of dollars. Madoff died in 2021, but his legacy as one of the most reviled securities fraudsters still stands. But how did his scheme operate, and what should you learn about his case?
A Ponzi scheme is a type of securities fraud in which investors are lured in by promises of insanely high returns on their investments within an insanely short period of time. However, instead of investing money legitimately, the operator of the Ponzi scheme simply takes money from other investors to pay victims in the scheme their “returns”.
Madoff had already established his name in the financial sector, and he only promised investors moderately high returns. Because of this, he was easily able to rope in investors – but instead of investing their money as he had promised, he just put all of their money in a bank account. Over time he would take money out of this bank account to pay back investors who wanted out, making it seem like they were actually making a legitimate profit even though their returns were basically just the money from later investors that had been added to the bank account.
Of course, when the 2008 financial crisis came rolling around, all of Madoff’s investors suddenly wanted out – and he wasn’t able to pay everyone, so eventually the scheme came to light. Long story short, Madoff’s name went down in history as one of the most notorious securities fraudsters in the world. Billions were lost, one of his sons committed suicide, and he ended up dying in prison a decade later.
Learning about Madoff gives you a better idea of how securities fraud is punished, but also how securities fraud is discovered. It involves massive amounts of money, and it requires as much legal horsepower as you can get if you want to get any charges reduced or dropped. Fortunately, a securities fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA can give you all the help you need if you know you’re not a Madoff.
Contact The Morales Law Firm Today
It’s easy for people to vilify securities fraudsters. They don’t get a good rap in the news, and with fraudsters like Madoff as an example, they usually attract the full wrath of the law when they’ve been discovered.
At The Morales Law Firm, we know that there’s more to reality than what we see in the headlines. We know that behind every case is a real person, and we know our clients shouldn’t be compared to notorious criminals if they haven’t been found guilty. If you’re being investigated for securities fraud, you don’t deserve to have your name dragged through the mud. You’re not a Madoff, and you have a future worth protecting. Reach out to a securities fraud lawyer in San Francisco, CA today, and see how The Morales Law Firm can help.