S
EC INVESTIGATIONS, SECURITIES FRAUD, & OTHER VIOLATIONS OF SECURITIES LAW

Allegations of securities fraud, hedge fund fraud, investment fraud and insider trading can be particularly challenging because they may involve two prosecuting entities. Of course, state and federal criminal prosecutors may investigate and pursue criminal charges that could lead to incarceration for the accused, if the charges result in a conviction. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may also investigate and file a civil lawsuit against the accused. If successful, this lawsuit can result in treble damages. This means that the accused could be responsible for paying three times the amount that was allegedly gained through the fraud.

If you have been accused of insider trading, profiting from a Ponzi scheme or a similar form of fraud, you want to be represented by a lawyer who understands the nuances of handling a criminal and civil case simultaneously. When you retain our law firm, both your criminal and civil case will be handled personally by John D. Kirby, a Cornell Law School educated lawyer and former federal criminal prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience.

Defense Strategies in Investment Fraud Cases

At the California Law Offices of John D. Kirby, A.P.C., our defense strategy begins with trying to shut down the criminal case. Our priority is to keep our client out from behind bars. That means working with criminal prosecutors as early as possible, preferably during the investigation stage, if our client contacts us in time. We will attack the evidence, striving to mitigate or eliminate white collar crime charges.

The evidence in the SEC’s civil case will overlap, but the reality of civil lawsuits is that the standard of proof is lower than in criminal cases. Furthermore, the SEC has a very different process. Following an investigation, they send a formal letter stating their intention to file a lawsuit. We respond to that letter, beginning a back in forth in which we attack the elements of the case that we do not believe the SEC will be able to meet. We work to prevent the filing of the lawsuit. If it is ultimately filed, we will go to trial as necessary to succeed.

Free Consultation With a San Diego Investment Fraud Attorney

CALL US:  619.557.0100

How to choose the best Fraud Lawyers?

Choosing the best fraud lawyers mainly revolves around the type of background and experience that a fraud lawyer has. Education in the field is a preliminary step but not the most important. Experienced fraud lawyers know how to search for evidence and present that evidence in a way that puts an individual in the best light possible. Top fraud lawyers have provided successful defenses for dozens or hundreds of fraud crime defendants.

Working with Top Fraud Lawyers

Competent, experienced fraud lawyers in this field know how to procure witnesses and documents that may testify to an individual telling the truth or making an honest mistake. IRS tax fraud in particular can be difficult to prove. Individuals admit mistakes on their tax returns and pay subsequent penalties on a daily basis. The government has to prove that an IRS tax fraud was willful, malicious, and designed to cheat the government out of a significant sum that was rightfully theirs. Experienced criminal fraud lawyers are able to poke holes in the government’s case and create a level of reasonable doubt that leads to less of a penalty in many cases.

Individuals facing financial fraud and money laundering charges need to stay vigilant and take quick action. These charges can ruin a person’s career and reputation. They can lead an individual to face years or even decades of prison time. An experienced criminal fraud attorney who specializes in fraud cases can combat these charges in a timely, sensible way and provide the best defense possible for their clients.

  • What is Securities Fraud?

    What is Securities Fraud?

    Securities fraud is a crime describing the intent of an individual to lie and deceive about the nature of securities such as stocks, bonds, or derivatives. A person committing securities fraud might manipulating an earnings report or lie about the size or overall success of a company. These types of fraud can lead to thousands of people losing a considerable amount of money and tanking a stock. Individuals who commit securities fraud also face prison sentences.

    A common trick in securities fraud is accounting manipulation. Companies take a large number of their bad assets and log them in books that are separate from the books they have to disclose to regulators and the public. Public investors often run off of how well a company meets their earnings targets and how much money they make over a period of time. These public investors will put more money into a stock that meets earnings reports and often put more money into the pockets of executives as a result.

  • What is Investment Fraud?

    What is Investment Fraud?

    Investment fraud involves lying about different aspects of an investment with the intention of deceiving or manipulating potential investors or government regulators. An individual may commit investment fraud by steering another person into a fake investment vehicle or lying about the structure of an investment scheme. Some investment fraud schemes include flashy financial planners who attempt to use their rhetorical gifts to lure unsuspecting individuals into faulty investments or investments that simply do not exist.

    One of the most famous forms of investment fraud is the Ponzi scheme. In a Ponzi scheme, an individual proposes that they are an investment firm and they are putting investors’ money into a financial instrument that they know more about than anyone else. The scheme often seems for months or years to be successful and to be meeting all of the hopes and goals of the investors. In reality, the schemer is simply using all of the money that he or she is collecting to pay off returns and the first few people who demand their money back. They are sitting on the rest of the money and taking a significant portion to live a lavish lifestyle. The fraud fails when enough people demand their money back and realize that it is not being invested.

  • What is Stock Fraud?

    What is Stock Fraud?

    Stock fraud is a specific type of securities fraud that focuses on the manipulation and deception surrounding stocks. A common stock fraud scheme is known as a pump and dump scheme. In this illegal scheme, individuals flood in and artificially inflate the price of a stock. When other individuals being defrauded have also bought in and put more money into the stock, the original fraudsters withdraw their investments and the victims lose the money they have invested.

    Individuals flood in and out of stocks on a daily basis. The simple practice of buying a stock along with lots of other people and then getting out quickly is not inherently illegal. What makes a pump and dump scheme illegal, however, is when there is a coordinated effort and that coordination can be proven. In that way, individuals are acting together in order to artificially reflect the value of a stock. Actions that manipulate the role of the market as a reflection of company wealth will always be viewed suspiciously by regulators.

  • What is Insider Trading?

    What is insider trading?

    Insider trading is the practice of stock trading based on information that is not available to the public. It involves cheating the rest of the market and is viewed as illegal. Insiders are often privy to sensitive information that moves a stock price up or down. A poor earnings report can hurt a stock price just as much as introducing an exciting new product can help it.

    Investment regulation is based on the fact that everyone can make or lose money in the same way and based on the same public information. An individual who buys a stock right before the announcement of a new product or sell a stock before an indictment announcement has gained an advantage over other traders and dilutes the power of the market to accurately reflect the worth of companies. These cases are usually proved by the timing of stock trades and communications that individuals may have with those privy to insider information.

    Minor cases of insider trading often involve individuals who bought a tiny amount or heard a rumor from one of their friends that they could have feasibly thought was already public knowledge. Serious cases may involve thousands or millions of dollars that would have otherwise not been made or been lost. Violators can be subject to prison time if convicted.

    Insider trading definition

    Insider trading is defined as a practice where an individual is trading off of data that is not publicly available and has the potential to move the price of a stock.

  • What is IRS Tax Fraud?

    What is IRS tax fraud?

    IRS tax fraud involves lying to the IRS at any point during the tax filing, declaration, or withholding process. IRS tax fraud may include any number of potential illicit acts. These acts include lying about income, types of businesses, and amounts that have been paid to the IRS. An individual may also commit IRS tax fraud by paying their tax bill with a worthless check.

    This fraud often occurs when an individual has collected a large sum of money and does not want to have to pay taxes with it. Millions of Americans have received money “under the table” in some way that they have not paid taxes on. These individuals could face tax fraud charges if the violation reaches a certain financial limit and there is evidence of a deliberate action to defraud the government.

  • What is a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud?

    What is a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud?

    A criminal conspiracy to commit fraud involves a person planning and talking about how they are going to commit fraud. Drawing together a scheme and then taking steps to make that scheme a reality can be considered conspiracy. A prosecutor has to prove in a court of law that a person was not simply daydreaming about committing fraud and actually had a plan to carry out.

    That plan does not have to occur in order to be illegal if it meets the standard of a criminal conspiracy. In some cases, a conspiracy charge can be more harmful than the actual crime being committed. This situation is especially possible if an individual has a large-scale conspiracy for a crime that involves a relatively small amount of money.

  • What are typical Fraud Charges?

    What are typical fraud charges?

    Dozens of fraud charges occur every day in the United States. Typical fraud charges include stock fraud, insurance fraud, and bank fraud. Insurance fraud involves lying to an insurance company about a claim or about assets that are being insured. Bank fraud involves lying to a bank about assets, sources of income, or any of the questions that banks ask in the normal course of doing business. Individuals are also frequently arrested for pump and dump schemes and lying to the IRS. These charges involve evidence of text messages, memos, and emails that an individual uses to communicate and set up their schemes.

    Any messages to shareholders or the public may become relevant to stock fraud charges. These fraud charges often carry a minimum amount of jail time that ranges between one and several years in prison. More egregious examples could put an individual in jail for decades. The government often focuses on the harm that an individual has done to other individuals or the public trust in fraud charges. These fraud charges are pursued particularly vigorously if they result in individuals losing large amounts of money or even their life savings.