Miami Securities Fraud &
Insider Trading Defense Lawyer
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Insider trading is also known as securities fraud. It is a financial term that reached the height of its fame among the mainstream public when celebrities began to make headlines and face criminal charges for making illegal trades. Many people assume that insider trading is an offense for which people can be charged if they simply disclose private information about a company to help an associate benefit by making an opportune trade. However, the offense is more complex than that. In fact, there are certain types of insider trades that do not violate the law. A Miami insider trading defense attorney can help those being investigated or already charged with securities fraud determine the best approach to responding to the government’s allegations.
‘Legal’ insider trading versus illegal
Securities fraud in Miami occurs when a person who has non-public access to information about a security and, based on that information, buys or sells the security. Trading also includes tipping, which occurs when when a person who has insider knowledge about a security tips others off so they can benefit by making a trade. Trades are considered legal when company directors, investors, and shareholders internally trade their company’s securities as long as the trades are reported to the Securities Exchange Commission. Companies are required to report trades that are conducted by corporate officers, people who own at least 10 percent of the company, and anyone else who would have access to sensitive information. The SEC makes an effort to crack down illegal trading based on the theory that doing so violates the fiduciary duty with which the company has charged the insider.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Consequences could be severe
Being accused of insider trading raises the potential for criminal and civil consequences. These cases may especially be complex because a defendant may be subjected to parallel cases handled by the U.S. Attorney’s office and by the SEC. Therefore, individuals and companies that are under investigation for securities fraud require the support of an attorney who is experienced and qualified to potentially represent the client in concurrent cases. A federal securities fraud attorney in Miami can help companies and individuals who have been accused of illegal trading understand the implications of the charges that are against them and help them navigate the complex, often intimidating federal court system.
Proving insider trading
Prosecutors must establish several different elements before a defendant can be convicted of insider trading. First, the federal government must establish that an actual purchase or sale took place. The defendant may have made a sale after receiving negative information from an insider about the company, or he or she may have made a purchase after receiving positive information from an insider about the company. Second, the prosecution must establish the trade was made while in possession of the insider information. Next, the prosecution must prove the insider information was material, or information an investor would reasonably consider important in deciding whether to purchase or sell the security. The last element prosecutors must prove is that the information was not available to the public.
Know when to call an attorney
The first sign that a company or individual is under investigation for insider trading is usually the receipt of a phone call or visit from a legal representative of the SEC. The representative will ask questions based on the understanding that answering is completely voluntary. At this point, the individual or company should contact a qualified insider trader or securities fraud lawyer in Miami. Having an attorney present can prevent the defendant from making incriminating statements or statements that may be construed in a manner that is against the defendant’s interests. Instead of answering the questions, the individual or company representative should politely decline the interview, reschedule, and contact an attorney for legal advice and representation.
Securities fraud penalties
Insider trader carries severe penalties. The maximum financial penalty for securities fraud is $1 million in fines or triple the amount of profit gained or loss avoided as a result of exchanging the insider information. Federal courts are imposing harsher penalties in securities fraud cases in the interest of discouraging people from committing multiple offenses. In addition to facing charges for insider trading, the government may also charge the defendant for related offenses such as mail or wire fraud. If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced for each offense separately; therefore, he or she may easily spend decades in prison and pay well over $1 million in fines. In light of the potential of being subjected to very severe consequences, individuals who are contacted regarding potential securities fraud should immediately enlist the services of a seasoned Miami insider trading defense attorney.
Contacting a Miami insider trading defense lawyer
While it may be tempting for a person to panic or to communicate with federal government investigators in the interest of proving his or her innocence, the best move is to delay talking about the case until a trustworthy attorney who represents the accused is present. The federal government attorneys, prosecutors, and lawyers who investigate, prosecute, and preside over securities fraud cases are typically very accomplished attorneys who are held in high regard. Therefore, a person who is being accused of insider trading should only choose an attorney who is thoroughly experienced and has a proven successful track record in handling federal white collar crime cases in Miami. The Miami securities fraud attorneys at Joffe Law, P.A. are available to provide a free case evaluation and to immediately get to work at gathering the facts to build a strong defense case to defend the accused in court.