Any deceptive practice used in stock or commodity markets could result in a criminal charge for securities fraud. According to state law, there are several offenses that fall under the category of securities fraud. Given the serious financial harm associated with securities fraud, prosecutors pursue these charges aggressively.
If you are facing allegations of securities fraud, do not hesitate to enlist the help of a dedicated white-collar crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. Once retained, your attorney can help build an in-depth defense strategy to refute your fraud charges. You have a right to legal counsel, so let a skilled Lincoln securities fraud lawyer from Berry Law build an effective defense on your behalf.
Examples of Securities Fraud
The term “securities fraud” applies to a wide range of behavior related to stock and commodity markets. In general, this offense is related to fraudulent investments. This could include fraudulently coercing a person to make an investment or push the sale of a financial instrument through fraudulent means. Some common examples of securities fraud include insider trading, microcap fraud, late-day trading, and Ponzi schemes.
One of the most notable forms of securities fraud is insider trading. Insider trading is the practice of using proprietary knowledge from within a business to turn a profit on the stock market. For example, this could involve selling a stock before bad news goes public or purchasing shares before a merger is announced.
Microcap fraud is a fraudulent transaction involving companies with small market caps—generally under $250 million. This type of fraud often involves pumping up the value of these stocks through fraudulent means then selling before the price collapses.
Late-day trading is a fraudulent stock trade executed after hours. This allows the person behind the scheme to profit unlawfully by completing a transaction after hours but registering it as if it had occurred during the trading day.
A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraudulent investment in which one person collects investments for a non-existent venture, then pays off initial investors with money brought in from new investors. This creates a constant cycle of defrauding new investors to cover up evidence of the original fraud.
The skilled white collar crimes attorneys at Berry Law have experience with many types of securities fraud cases.
What Must the Prosecution Prove in a Securities Fraud Case?
State prosecutors may pursue securities fraud charges under Nebraska Revised Statutes §8-1102 for any use of deception in connection with the sale, offer, or purchase of a security. Like any criminal charge, the prosecution has the burden of proof in these cases. Prosecutors must establish the following elements to secure a conviction:
- The defendant (i.e. a single person or multiple individuals) used a device, scheme, or deceptions to intentionally defraud an investor.
- The defendant used an untrue statement of material fact to intentionally mislead and persuade another party to buy or sell a security.
- The defendant’s operation of business relied on deceit or fraud of another individual or entity.
An experienced defense attorney in our area can offer more insight on whether the prosecution will be able to meet any of these standards for a securities fraud conviction in your case.
Federal Securities Fraud Cases in Lincoln
- Knowingly executes or attempts to execute a scheme that defrauds another person to disrupt the future delivery of or option to close on a commodity
- Obtains money or property through false representations regarding the future delivery of a commodity
Few federal offenses are as complex as securities fraud. A conviction for this type of offense will likely have much greater consequences than a conviction under state law.
Given what is at stake, it is vital that you speak with a local lawyer if you are facing federal securities fraud charges. The sooner you retain a steadfast attorney, the sooner our team can get to work building a strong defense for your case.
Common Defenses to Allegations of Securities Fraud
Each allegation of securities fraud is different, meaning there is no single defense strategy that will be successful for all cases. That said, there are many defenses that have the potential to be successful in these types of cases.
An uncommon but potentially strong defense in a securities fraud case is entrapment. Entrapment occurs when the government tricks or coerces a person into committing a financial crime. This defense is only viable if you can show they would not have otherwise committed a criminal act if not for the coercion of the government.
Lack of Evidence
One of the most basic defense strategies is to highlight a lack of evidence. Remember, the government bears the burden of establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If their case is weak or speculative, the best option could be to simply point to their failure to present clear evidence.
Lack of Fraudulent Statement
Securities fraud cases rely on the existence of a fraudulent statement of material fact. Even if a transaction seems unusual or suspicious, it is not a criminal act if the accused did not base the transaction on a false statement.
What’s more, this statement must be material to the transaction. A conviction for securities fraud is not viable based on a false but immaterial statement. A statement is not material if reliance on it does have an impact on the underlying transaction. An innovative lawyer can work with you to determine possible defenses in your securities fraud case.
Let a Lincoln Securities Fraud Attorney Defend Your Rights
Successfully defending your rights and liberties in a securities fraud case starts with finding the right legal representation. Who you appoint as your legal counsel could have a substantial impact on the outcome of your case.
Do not leave your future in the hands of an attorney who has limited experience with these complex matters. Instead, get in touch with a Lincoln securities fraud lawyer from Berry Law right away to maximize your chances of success. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.