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New York Criminal Defense Law Blog

Alleged Ponzi scheme leads to criminal charges

Charges were filed against two New York businessmen by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 27, 2017. It is alleged that they were responsible for running a complex Ponzi scheme that duped investors out of more than $81 million dollars.

Their scheme involved the alleged bulk purchasing and reselling of tickets to high-profile events including to the hit Broadway show "Hamilton" as well as concert tickets to see the singer Adele. The pair is said to have taken advantage of more than 125 investors from across 13 different states.

What exactly is a white collar crime?

The term "white collar crime" was coined in 1939, back in the day when every good businessman wore a suit and a stiff white-collared shirt. Only common laborers wore dark shirts to help hide the dirt or dust from their jobs.

The term has now become synonymous with crimes committed by a business professional who uses intelligence, deception and sometimes charisma to pull off a range of non-violent offenses, like identity theft, embezzlement and different types of fraud.

SEC moves forward with fraud investigation of investment business

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating an investment business that is accused of misappropriating almost $4 million in funds from investors.

What are the accusations? The business is accused of misleading investors on the use of the money that was given to the business. Investors were allegedly told the money would go towards "up-and-coming hedge fund managers for investment purposes."

The SEC is investigating allegations that the funds were not transferred as promised - that the money did not really go to hedge fund managers as they were told. Instead, the federal agency is looking into whether the funds were commingled with other accounts in a "scheme to siphon away investor funds" and use significant portions of the investments for "personal use and unauthorized business expenses."

Understand what can occur in a criminal justice trial

Many criminal cases are resolved before they ever make it to a trial. For the ones that do end up going to trial, there are often some misconceptions about what happens during these trials. It is imperative that any defendant who is taking their case to trial have a basic understanding of what will happen during the trial.

The first step in the criminal trial is the jury selection. This process involves the prosecution and defense because each side has the right to call the suitability of a juror into question. Once the jury is chosen, the criminal trial can proceed.

Ex-Visium portfolio manager convicted of securities fraud

A man who used to work for Visium Asset Management LP, as a portfolio manager, just went before a jury in New York. They only needed about 90 minutes to decide he was guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy, and securities fraud.

The man's family was there when the verdict was reached, and reports indicate that they "reacted angrily." In addition, the man's legal team said that they're probably just going to appeal the decision.

Do you know that insider trading isn't always a criminal offense?

Most people understand that insider trading is a bad thing that can get people in trouble. But fewer understand that it does not always constitute a criminal violation.

In fact, some cases involving insider trading can result in just fines, which may admittedly be hefty. However, most people would agree that fines are preferable to being locked up in prison. Consider the following:

Mortgage fraud is a very serious matter

Mortgages are sometimes the biggest loans that a person will take out in a lifetime. The influx of money, even if it is earmarked for a house, can sometimes tempt people to do things that they wouldn't normally do. When there are untruths made during the process of obtaining a mortgage, it might be possible to face criminal charges for mortgage fraud.

Interestingly, home buyers aren't the only people who can commit mortgage fraud. In some cases, brokers and other people involved in the process might use false information to get a fraudulent loan. This is also criminal activity.

Social media posts can get defendants in trouble

More and more, law enforcement is relying on social media as a major investigative tool, and the courts are going with it because most social media use is not actually private in a legal sense. While it might be possible to post whatever you like online without worrying that unintended people will see it if you are a privacy and security guru, for most people social media is an area where private thoughts are discussed semi-publicly. That's where legal trouble can start. If you are involved in criminal proceedings, your current and past social media are likely to be included in the investigation.

Options exist for recouping investment loss due to fraud

People who have lost money because of securities fraud have several different options that they can consider when they want to try to recoup their money. In most cases, this is a difficult process that will be fairly drawn out; however, this doesn't mean that it is impossible.

One of the possibilities is to use an alternative dispute resolution method, such as arbitration or mediation, to resolve the issue. This is one of the preferred ways for investors, as well as investment firms, because it is often a faster and less expensive option than using litigation and taking the case to court. This option is available for six years after the fraudulent act occurred and the claim must be filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Platinum Partners hedge fund managers arrested for fraud

While most people had never heard of Platinum Partners, the hedge fund provided terrific returns, often in the double digits. That's on par with some of the biggest hedge funds and investment groups in this industry, so the results were shockingly good. Some might even say they were unbelievably good.

According to federal prosecutors, that's exactly what they were. They recently arrested those in charge of the hedge fund, claiming it was little more than a Ponzi scheme. Totals are being reported in the area of $1 billion, meaning few cases have been this big since the Bernard L. Madoff scheme came apart back in 2008.

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