Securities fraud is a term used to cover a broad set of criminal activities. This practice typically involves fraudulent investments, as well as attempts to manipulate the stock market. While there are different examples of securities fraud, each of these allegations could lead to you serving significant prison time upon a conviction.
If you find yourself under investigation for securities fraud, it is vital that you seek out an attorney right away. These investigations frequently result in criminal charges but an experienced white-collar crimes defense attorney could convince investigators that charges against you are inappropriate. If you have been arrested, a Columbia securities fraud lawyer could help you plan a winning defense.
There are many different fraudulent schemes that fall under the umbrella of securities fraud. A securities fraud attorney in Columbia could assist with developing a defense strategy under any of these circumstances.
Affinity fraud occurs when a person targets members of distinct groups for fraudulent investments. Often, this involves religious, political, or cultural groups. Affinity fraud occurs when a person relies on the shared trust within these groups by pushing a fraudulent investment—often with the support of influential members of the community.
A Ponzi scheme refers to a specific type of investment fraud that constantly requires new investors. The person responsible for the fraud pockets most of the investment money and then brings in new investors to provide fake returns for the original investors. This is similar to what is commonly known as a pyramid scheme.
A pump and dump scheme contains a two-part process. First, the person involved in the scheme attempts to artificially inflate the value of a particular stock. Often, this is done with false or misleading claims about the company. Once the stock price has risen artificially, the originator of the fraud sells off their stock at a significant profit. Often, dumping these shares causes the price to collapse. This only harms the investors who are not involved in the fraud.
A person charged with securities fraud has different potential defense strategies available to them. While there are numerous potential strategies, the right approach will vary depending on the facts of the case. A securities fraud attorney in Columbia could investigate these allegations and form a defense strategy on that basis.
Often referred to as the “no knowledge” defense, this strategy focuses on the requirement under federal law that a defendant had actual knowledge of any fraud being committed. If a person was unaware that fraud was ongoing, they are not criminally responsible.
These cases often boil down to documentary evidence that implicates the defendant. If documents or other records were seized without a warrant, it could be possible for a lawyer to move to exclude that evidence from a trial on constitutional grounds.
Securities fraud charges are intended to punish those who intentionally push false information. Anyone who acted in good faith—meaning they genuinely believed their statements to be true—should not be found guilty of fraud.
Selecting a defense strategy is only part of fighting back against allegations of securities fraud. You will also need an attorney who is ready and able to aggressively pursue that defense strategy on your behalf.
A Columbia securities fraud lawyer could help you evaluate your options and advise you on the strength and weakness of the evidence against you. To discuss your defense strategy, call our law firm for a private consultation today.