Even the most seasoned trader can end up on the wrong side of the law. Characterized by intentional misrepresentation of investment information or decisions, securities fraud is a serious federal offense with far-reaching legal and personal implications if you are convicted.
Like any criminal matter, understanding your defense options when charged with securities fraud can improve your chances of getting the desired outcome for your case.
What is securities fraud?
Securities fraud can take multiple forms. However, it generally refers to any action that misleads a potential investor into making decisions that cost them money. The primary goal of securities fraud is usually to prompt an investor to make a decision through the conveyance of distorted or incorrect information. This can take the form of a high-yield investment scam, a Ponzi scheme or a pump-and-dump scheme.
Defending securities fraud charges
Facing securities fraud charges is serious. Depending on the circumstances of your case, here are defense options that you may consider:
Coercion – Entrapment by the investigating agency or coercion by someone in a position of authority can serve as a credible defense. If someone threatened you with harm to yourself or someone close to you, you may cite coercion as a defense for your actions.
Lack of intent – for a fraud charge to hold, there has to be evidence that you intended to gain financially by deceiving the investor in question. In other words, it must be clear that your actions were premeditated. A misunderstanding or a misinterpretation that was made in good faith can be a useful defense.
Safeguarding your rights
A conviction for securities fraud can cost your freedom, money and even career. Subject to the specifics of your situation, it is in your best interest that you evaluate your options to determine the most appropriate defense.