Securities Fraud, Corporate Fraud, Insider Trading, Stock Manipulations
White collar crimes tend to be more convoluted than most violent crimes and are therefore more difficult to prosecute. They involve in-depth investigations and usually a paper trail that winds itself through numerous bank accounts in the form of different types of transactions hidden behind aliases and sometimes shell corporations.
The ultimate goal of all types of white-collar crime is to make money for the perpetrator.
Securities fraud is a type of white collar crime that takes place when someone makes a false statement about a business or the value of a stock and others make financial decisions based on that inaccurate information. More specifically, it is employing a scheme or a device to defraud, make an untrue statement about a material fact, or engage in a practice or a course of business that operates, or would operate, as a deceit or fraud upon another person. Most of the time, securities fraud is committed by a financial advisor, a stockbroker, an investment advisor, or some other financial professional. Practices that are considered to be securities fraud include insider trading, stealing the personal information of an investor, making trades that have not been authorized, engaging in a Ponzi scheme, and making excessive trades. You can be charged with securities fraud even if you never made a profit off the fraudulent activities.
Security fraud charges can be second-degree felonies, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. A first-degree felony charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $5 million fine.
Activities undertaken by either an individual or a company that are carried out in a dishonest or illegal manner and are designed to give an advantage to the perpetrators are called corporate fraud. For example, the corporate officers decide to use an accounting scheme to hide the amount of debt a company has in order to make it appear better off financially than it really is.
Insider trading is when someone with confidential information about a company’s inner workings uses that knowledge to make decisions about buying or selling a stock and discloses that information to the public.
Market manipulation is a deliberate attempt to compromise the free and fair operation of the market. It is creating an artificial, fake or misleading façade with respect to the price of, or market for, currency, security, or a commodity. The ultimate goal is to make more money.
The stock market is supposed to be open and fair. No one is supposed to have an advantage over someone else in the stock market.
Being charged with any of these crimes can devastate you personally, professionally, and financially. Your assets may be frozen by the government. You may be required to repay the money stolen. Your professional reputation may be destroyed, even without a conviction.
Just the existence of fraud accusations can ruin you. Your neighbors and friends may turn from you, cutting off relationships with you. Worse, your entire family will suffer the shame and abuse. Your experienced and dedicated Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney will work with you to get you the best outcome possible, but to do this, he requires you to be open and honest with him.