Irvine Securities Fraud Lawyer
An Experienced and Reputable Defender in Your Corner
Securities fraud is a serious crime at the state and federal level, as it involves significant financial property like stocks and bonds. Attorney Diane C. Bass has extensive experience in the courtroom and has an outstanding reputation throughout Orange County. In fact, she has handled some of the largest cases in the history of the Central District of California. So, you can trust that Attorney Bass will fight aggressively and skillfully for your defense in the face of securities fraud charges.
What Constitutes Securities Fraud?
Deceptive or fraudulent activities involving stock or commodities markets are generally referred to as securities fraud. The term “securities” broadly encompasses numerous types of investments, such as municipal bonds, corporate stocks, bank notes, investment contracts, and more. Securities fraud occurs when someone involved with one of these investments lies, cheats, or steals in an attempt to gain a financial advantage. This can be committed by private individuals as well as by professional financial analysts, securities brokers, corporations, and even government agencies.
Like other fraud offenses, securities fraud is typically perpetrated through schemes to induce others to put forth money or something else of value willingly. Some types of securities fraud may involve embezzlement, which is a theft offense. Statutes at the federal and state level prohibit securities fraud, though federal agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will play a substantial role in investigating and prosecuting offenses.
The federal offense of securities and commodities fraud prohibits any scheme to defraud a person or fraudulently obtain money in connection with commodities, commodity options, or securities. Securities fraud can occur in multiple ways, and it is important to note that a person can commit securities fraud even if they never actually profit from the activity; if they engage in fraudulent activity with the intent to profit or benefit from it, that is enough to commit the crime.
Insider trading is a common type of securities fraud in which a person who is associated with a company and knows information that isn't available to the public tries to make a profit by buying or selling a security. While some insider trading is legal, such as when a person in a corporation buys or sells the company's stock and properly reports the activity to securities regulators, most other forms of insider trading are not.
Churning is another example of securities fraud that refers to the practice of a securities broker who convinces a client to engage in excessive trades, intending to generate more fees or commissions for the broker. When a broker engages in churning, they fail to keep the client's best interests in mind and instead make trades only to benefit the broker or the brokerage.
So, as discussed above, securities fraud generally falls under specific categories depending on the parties involved in the act, such as corporate securities fraud, individual securities fraud, microcap fraud, and investment schemes.
Penalties Upon Conviction
A conviction for securities fraud can involve significant civil or criminal penalties. A convicted individual could face high fines depending on the circumstances of the case. In some situations, this could be fines of up to $5 million, while other circumstances could warrant $10,000 or more. A conviction can also result in a 5-year federal prison sentence per offense.
Probation is also a possible penalty for securities fraud, particularly when there is only a single instance of fraud or didn't result in any financial loss. Probation usually lasts several years, and 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 (money the other party lost as a result of the fraudulent activity).
Let Attorney Diane C. Bass Defend You
If you have been charged with securities fraud, speak with an experienced lawyer who can better guide you through the court process and help defend you against harsh or unfair charges. Financial matters can be complicated, and even the smallest detail may make the difference between conviction and dismissal. Attorney Diane C. Bass has years of experience under her belt and can build a unique defense against your specific securities fraud charges.
Over 25 Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
Top-Rated & Award-Winning Legal Representation
Extensive Knowledge & Experience With Federal Cases
An Outstanding Reputation Amongst Clients & Peers
Handled Some of the Largest Cases in the History of the Central District of California
Your Initial 1-Hour Consultation Is Free