Tampa Securities Fraud Lawyer
Millions of Floridians have invested in the stock market, either as day traders or through retirement accounts and mutual funds. With so much money involved, fraudulent schemes abound.
Fortunately, the public is protected through both state and federal securities fraud statutes. Generally, these laws make it illegal to use any scheme or device to defraud people in the sale of securities. These laws also cover making false statements or omissions of material fact, especially in the prospectus or other material.
If you have been accused of securities fraud, you need a seasoned criminal defense attorney by your side. The Tampa securities fraud lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can protect your rights to a fair investigation and trial, increasing your odds of a favorable outcome.
Some Examples of Securities Fraud
Securities fraud takes many forms and can include:
- Insider trading. An insider uses information not generally known to the public to sell or buy securities. For example, a company’s vice president might know that profits were down dramatically, so he sells stock before the information hits the news. Insider trading can be committed by employees, directors, and anyone holding a large percentage of the company’s stock.
- Accounting fraud. Accountants can commit securities fraud when they falsify a company’s financial records or when they identify fraudulent information but refuse to disclose it.
- Misstatements on financial reports. Investors use these reports to judge the financial prospects of a company. A company often lies on a report to make it look more attractive to investors.
- Advance fee schemes. The fraudster asks investors to pay a fee for a transaction to go through. Sometimes, investors who lose money on an investment are told to pay a fee before they can dump the underperforming stock.
- Ponzi or pyramid schemes. An investor makes a promise of high returns but instead uses the funds from new investors to make payment. The illusion of high returns can be maintained only so long as the fraudster continues to recruit new investors.
The above are only some of the more common types of securities fraud. Any conviction for securities fraud can carry years in prison and a fine.
Don’t Let an Accusation Stick
A prosecution for securities fraud carries another risk: reputational harm. If you are a stockbroker, then any accusation can result in a loss of license, suspension, or other penalty. Those publicly accused of breaking the law could struggle to find employment or new clients given the accusations.
For this reason, an immediate response is appropriate. Some securities fraud cases even get covered by the media, so an attorney should understand how to protect a client’s reputation as well as his freedom.
Contact a Tampa Securities Fraud Attorney for a Consultation
When it comes to securities fraud, the line between legal and illegal behavior is often thin. The attorneys at O’Mara Law Group are seasoned advocates who understand how to fight off these charges. We can defend you in state or federal court and work to protect your reputation going forward. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.