Dallas Securities Fraud Attorneys
Securities fraud is an umbrella term that refers to a wide range of illegal actions people can take involving securities or regulated markets to profit at others’ expense. It is often not a victimless crime. Investors frequently suffer significant, devastating losses. For this reason, investigators and prosecutors take securities fraud seriously and seek maximum punishment for defendants.
If you have been charged with securities fraud or if you believe you are under investigation for this offense, you should get help from Dallas securities fraud attorneys with more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience in state and federal courts in Texas and many other states. At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we understand the sophisticated nature of these cases and how to effectively protect our clients’ rights.
We are ready to provide a free and confidential consultation about your case. Call or contact us online today to learn more.
What Is Securities Fraud?
Securities are traded financial instruments such as stocks and bonds that serve the purpose of raising capital in public and private markets. Securities fraud involves these instruments. It is commonly called “investment fraud” because, in most cases, the defendant is charged with misrepresenting facts to investors and taking steps that benefit only themselves.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) are the agencies that investigate securities fraud allegations for federal and state prosecutors. If you are asked to speak with an investigator about a securities fraud investigation, you should speak with a lawyer first. Your securities fraud lawyer in Dallas can advise you on whether doing so will protect your rights and interests.
Many other organizations regulate the financial industry, including FINRA, NFA, and NASD. While those organizations cannot bring criminal charges against you, it may still be beneficial to have a white-collar crime lawyer’s guidance and representation throughout the process of dealing with them.
Securities fraud can also include false information, pump-and-dump schemes, or trading on insider information.
Who Can Be Charged with Securities Fraud?
Securities fraud typically involves people who owe a fiduciary duty to their clients. In other words, they must put their clients’ interests before their own. Investment advisers owe a fiduciary duty to their clients, for example. They must:
- Use reasonable care when handling client funds and making transactions.
- Never mislead clients.
- Avoid conflicts of interest.
- Fully disclose facts that bear on a client’s transactions.
- Avoid making sales or other transactions simply to generate fees and commissions.
- Never using the clients’ funds without permission or solely for the adviser’s benefit.
However, one does not necessarily need to be an investment adviser to engage in securities fraud. For instance, anyone can act on non-public information to buy or sell stock and, in turn, face a charge of insider trading. Sometimes, a person may face civil penalties for violating certain securities rules and regulations but not be subjected to a criminal securities fraud prosecution.
Types of Securities Fraud Penalties
A securities fraud conviction can carry severe consequences under Texas law. It depends on the level of a felony. Some of the penalties include:
- First-degree felony (involving $100,000 or more) – Life sentence or five to 99 years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both
- Second-degree felony (involving between $10,000 and $100,000) – Two to 20 years in state prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both
- Third-degree felony (involving less than $10,000) – Two to 10 years in state prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both
At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we know how the ramifications of a securities fraud conviction can go beyond fines and prison. A person may also face loss of a professional license and certification, administrative penalties, and significant restitution. We thoroughly assess the consequences of a conviction when discussing strategy with our Dallas clients.