When we talk about securities fraud, you might think immediately of insider trading. Insider trading occurs when someone uses confidential information that is not available to the public to make investment and trade decisions. Knowing about this type of information ahead of a public release gives insiders an unfair competitive edge in the marketplace, which is why this type of activity is illegal.
Securities fraud covers more than insider trading, though. Criminal allegations in this area might also deal with issues such as Ponzi schemes, outright fraud and market manipulation. Individuals who back-date stock options, create fraudulent books to deceive investors or attempt to purposefully manipulate the behavior of stocks or bonds might all be charged with some type of securities fraud crime.
One challenge with defending against securities fraud is actually also a potential strength for any defense. Outside of hard documentation, it can be difficult to prove many facts related to these cases. That can work for or against the defense. If prosecutors don't make a strong case, they leave you an opening for a stronger defense. At the same time, if you can't prove certain facts yourself, you might weaken your defense.
Securities fraud is also an area of the law where gray areas do, in some ways, exist. While intent doesn't have to be present for fraud to take place, intent does matter when it comes to jury trials and sentencing. Understanding how all the details and circumstances might work together to impact the outcome of your case is important. Our firm works with you to investigate the charges and create a viable defense that works for your unique situation.