The buying and selling of securities offer excellent financial prospects to both individuals and investment firms. Even so, this sector of the market is a complex one, and many parties rely on licensed securities brokers to properly make their transactions and recommend their next move. With so much power in the hands of brokers, the state goes to significant lengths to regulate this market and those employed within it.
At the simplest level, it is a violation of the law to take any action that defrauds an investor or other party. These allegations can range in seriousness from misdemeanors to harsh felonies. In addition, convictions will expose you to civil liability for the value of the money taken through these schemes. A Greenville securities fraud lawyer may be able to help defend you against accusations of fraud related to the sale, purchase, or transfer of securities. Reach out to an experienced white-collar defense attorney now to learn more.
The securities market describes the buying and selling of debt or equity in the belief that its value will rise or fall in the future. Securities fraud describes a person using deception to further their gain.
More specifically, South Carolina Code § 35-1-501 says that it is illegal for a person to employ any scheme to defraud another regarding the offer, sale, or purchase of a security. It is also unlawful to make any untrue statement of material fact that relates to a potential transaction. Examples of illegal activity could include:
The seriousness of these allegations depends on the type of conduct involved and the amount of money tied up in the transaction. In instances where an investor loses $1,000 or less, the case is a misdemeanor where convictions can bring no more than three years in jail. However, if the value of the items rises, the penalties can become felonies with up to ten years in prison. A Greenville attorney could provide further information about how state law defines and punishes securities fraud.
All fraud cases, whether they involve securities or not, revolve around the idea of deceit. In short, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant acted in a way that intended to deceive another person. As applied to securities fraud, this can involve accusations that a defendant misrepresented their licensure status or knowingly made false statements.
With the prosecutor bearing the burden in these cases, many defenses revolve around disputing the supposed intent of the defendant. For instance, it is not a crime to make an honest mistake or to simply have a client be confused as to their current account status.
A securities fraud attorney in Greenville could help uncover evidence that points to an instance of supposed fraud being a mere mistake or misunderstanding. This may involve a deep dive into financial records or public filings to create an alternative theory of the events that led to a complaint. Every case is unique, and our uniquely qualified team is ready to take the necessary steps to protect individuals facing these harsh accusations.
People engaged in the business of securities trading have an obligation under the law to provide accurate information to their clients and the public as a whole. This includes providing accurate statements about their current ability to provide a service as well as data about the securities at hand. Failures to do so that indicate an intent to deceive others may lead to accusations of fraud. In many examples, these are felonies where convictions can bring multiple-year prison sentences and crippling fines.
Let a Greenville securities fraud lawyer fight for you. With decades of experience, we are prepared to evaluate the information in the case, explain the relevant laws, and defend your future at every turn. Reach out today to get started.