When does the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigate an entity on grounds of fraud? Understanding this is the first thing if you were facing such charges. A criminal defense attorney is best suited to answer your questions in this regard. Moreover, he/she could also help you prepare for the case if the need arises.
Various things may lead to an investigation by the SEC. This includes –
- Manipulation of market prices of securities
- Misrepresentation of securities’ information
- Violation of broker-dealers’ responsibility for fair treatment of customers
- Embezzlement of securities/funds of customers
- Insider trading (based on non-public information)
The SEC is the law enforcement wing pertaining to these matters. If you were wondering about the source of initiating an investigation, the answer could be many – a tip from an investor, a complaint from an SEC division or office, a market surveillance activity, or even a media report.
How does the investigation proceed? The SEC has trained staff to accumulate and analyze data for this. The methods in use include informal inquiry, examination of brokerage records, interview of witnesses, and so on. Compelling witnesses to produce evidence and testify by subpoena is also a possibility at this stage.
After the completion of the investigation, the Commission reviews it. If there is adequate ground to proceed with the legal action, the Commission may approve of a filing at a federal court. It could also opt for bringing an administrative action. If possible, your attorney may try to negotiate the case at this stage and avoid prosecution.
It is essential to get a Miami criminal defense attorney from the time you find out about the investigation, or the charges. Securities fraud is a serious charge, and on conviction, you may have to face serious penalties including heavy fines and imprisonment. You may also have to pay for any losses the victims suffer because of the offenses.
The factors affecting the importance of the violation includes the damage to others, the number of people affected, the money involved, and such others. Capable legal counsel could be able to handle the defense in such cases. However, the time available to prepare this is very short, as the SEC conducts its investigations privately.
It is necessary for you to act as soon as possible if you know of such charges against you. Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney in Bossier City, LA immediately to avoid hampering the scope of your defense.