If someone in your company has been accused of securities fraud, there’s no question that a lawyer is going to be needed by both parties. Securities fraud is considered a type of white collar offenses, meaning that it’s a crime done to advance someone’s financial gain, without resorting to violence. Other white collar crimes include money laundering, embezzlement, and corporate fraud. You’ll want a lawyer who’s highly specialized in securities litigation, as the laws surrounding securities are complicated, and the case will have a lot at risk, and sensitive information that needs to be pored through. So let’s talk about what you need to know about securities fraud, what it means for your business, and how a securities fraud attorney can help you. In some cases, mediation services might be brought into play to narrow the issues at hand and help settle the cases.
What Exactly Is Securities Fraud and How Does It Hurt Your Business?
Securities fraud happens when an individual or company gives a false account of the information that’s used to make investing decisions for financial gain. They can either give bad information, not disclose important information, give bad advice, or provide inside information that others shouldn’t be privy to.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Association of Securities Dealers handle accusations of securities fraud and their investigations can come with steep penalties if the accusations are true. Securities fraud has many negative implications for your business, which stands to lose an immense amount of credibility and may even be forced to go under. Even if just one person acted alone, it can have larger ripple effects in the market and people may distrust your company.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
Lawyering up is a smart move if you or your business has been accused of securities fraud. If the accusations are true, you could face steep fines, jail time, probation for up to five years, and restitution (which are separate from any fines incurred). A lawyer can help you defend your reputation if you’re innocent, or alternately, try and minimize the damage. Ultimately, however, it’s your career and reputation at stake — this is something that can totally ruin your career and alter your life.
An attorney can help protect your interests, evaluate the entire case thoroughly, offer legal advice based on the case, regulations, courts, and prosecutors. He or she will have an intimate knowledge of all of those things, based on his or her own experience, which can prove to be a huge asset. They can advise you on what to say and how to phrase it and can arrange mediation if necessary.
If your case ends up being a class action, your attorney can also notify you how it will be handled — usually how they are under FRCP 23, which includes certification, notice, and settlement. In summary, your attorney can guide you through the twists and turns of the case and advise you on the best legal course of action to take.
What are the Possible Outcomes of the Case?
The most black-and-white outcomes of the case is that you will be found guilty or not guilty. If you’re found guilty, there are a few different sanctions you could be hit with — as mentioned above, jail time, fines, etc. Any licenses you hold may also be revoked and you may be asked to pay restitution as part of the sentence. The chances are also good that you’ll lose your job — and if the case was widely discussed in the media, you may find it very difficult to obtain another job.
However, if you go into mediation, the case may be kept more private and your lawyers may be able to work out terms that are satisfactory to all parties.
The bottom line is this: if there are allegations of securities fraud, you need to find a criminal defense attorney immediately. They can help minimize damage, offer wise legal counsel, and help protect your rights and assets during the case.