Seattle Securities Fraud Defense Lawyer

Investment professionals like investment advisors, broker-dealers, and stock brokers face myriad legal challenges. One of the most serious allegations that can jeopardize their careers and freedom is securities fraud, a complex and multifaceted white-collar crime . That’s where Jennifer Horwitz Law steps in.

Seattle criminal defense attorney Jennifer Horwitz is well-versed in the applicable securities laws and regularly defends investment professionals against securities fraud charges in state and federal court. Given the government’s unfair advantage and vast surveillance and investigative powers, you need an aggressive defense attorney to protect your rights and future. Call Jennifer today to get started. 

What is Securities Fraud?

Securities fraud is a deceptive and illegal practice involving misrepresenting information to investors or manipulating financial markets. These fraudulent activities undermine the integrity and trustworthiness of the financial system. Both state and federal securities laws and  regulations govern securities fraud. 

Federal Securities Fraud

  • The Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 prohibits various fraudulent activities related to securities trading, including insider trading, market manipulation, and false reporting.
  • The Securities Act of 1933 regulates the initial public offering of securities and requires companies to provide full and accurate information to potential investors.

Examples of Securities Fraud

  • Insider trading occurs when individuals with access to non-public information use it for personal gain by buying or selling securities. For example, a corporate executive who trades stocks based on upcoming earnings reports engages in insider trading.
  • Ponzi schemes – Fraudsters promise high returns to investors but use new investors’ funds to pay off earlier investors. Eventually, the scheme collapses, leaving investors with substantial losses.
  • Churning – Broker-dealers excessively trade a client’s account to generate commissions, regardless of whether it benefits the client.
  • False financial statements – Companies or individuals may provide misleading or false financial information, inflating the value of securities.
  • Front-running: Securities professionals trade securities in their accounts based on their advanced knowledge of pending client orders, thus taking advantage of the price change.

Securities Fraud Under Washington State Law

The Washington State Securities Act (the Act) is the primary law designed to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities market within the state. 

The Act requires the registration of securities offerings and imposes registration requirements on investment professionals (stock brokers, investment advisors) and strict disclosure requirements on issuers. 

The law also includes robust anti-fraud provisions that prohibit various fraudulent activities related to the sale of securities. These provisions are designed to prevent deceptive practices and protect investors. Common fraudulent activities covered by these provisions include:

  • Misrepresentation
  • Unregistered securities
  • Fraudulent schemes
  • Insider trading
  • Churning

Securities professionals operating in Washington State must comply with state and federal laws, and violations can result in legal actions at both levels.

Penalties for Securities Fraud

The penalties for securities fraud can be severe and vary depending on the case’s specific circumstances:

Federal Penalties

  • Individuals convicted of securities fraud at the federal level may face imprisonment for up to 20 years and substantial fines.
  • The SEC can impose civil penalties of up to three times the ill-gotten gains or losses avoided.
  • Offenders may be required to return any illicit gains obtained through the fraudulent activity.

Washington State Penalties

In Washington State, securities fraud is a Class B felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and fines of up to $20,000. Offenders may be ordered to pay restitution to the victims, compensating them for their financial losses.

How Jennifer Horwritz Law Can Help

If you are facing securities fraud charges, having a seasoned securities fraud defense attorney by your side is essential. Jennifer Horwtiz will leverage her skills and experience to tailor a defense to the facts and allegations. Potential defenses against secruites fraud include:

  • Lack of Intent – One of the critical elements of securities fraud is intent. As your defense attorney, Jennifer Horwitz can argue that you did not have the requisite intent to defraud investors or manipulate the market.
  • Mistaken Identity – In some cases, individuals may be wrongly accused of securities fraud due to mistaken identity. Jennifer can present evidence proving you were not involved in the alleged fraudulent activity.
  • Lack of Materiality – Securities fraud cases often hinge on whether the misrepresentation or omission of information is material, meaning it would impact an investor’s decision. Trust Jennifer Hortwitz to challenge the materiality of the alleged misstatements.
  • Procedural Errors – Jennifer will scrutinize the investigative and legal processes to identify any procedural errors or violations of your rights. These errors could lead to the dismissal of charges or the exclusion of evidence.
  • Cooperation with Authorities – You can seek leniency and reduced penalties if you cooperate fully with authorities and take steps to rectify any wrongdoing.

You can trust Jennifer to guide you through every step, protect your rights, and work stratgegically to achieve the best possible outcome.

Talk To an Experienced Securities Fraud Attorney Today

Securities fraud allegations can have lasting consequences for investment professionals; a conviction can be life altering. To protect your reputation, career, and freedom, contact Jennifer Horwitz Law today.