Houston Securities Fraud Lawyer
SKILLED FEDERAL SECURITIES FRAUD LAWYER IN HOUSTON, TX
Securities fraud is a broad category of white-collar crime covering violations of state and federal law related to stocks, bonds, and investments. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates the securities industry and enforces federal securities laws. There are several laws and individual codes that a person or entity may be charged with if they are suspected of securities or investment fraud. It is always in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable Houston Securities Fraud Lawyer as soon as possible. Some of the most common forms of securities fraud include misrepresentation, insider trading, churning, and accounting fraud.
Securities Act of 1933
According to the SEC, the Securities Act of 1933 has two primary objectives:
- “require that investors receive financial and other significant information concerning securities being offered for public sale; and
- Prohibit deceit, misrepresentations, and other fraud in the sale of securities.”
Violation of the Securities Act can result in an enforcement action through the SEC.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 established the Securities and Exchange Commission to “register, regulate, and oversee brokerage firms, transfer agents, and clearing agencies as well as the nation’s securities self-regulatory organizations (SROs).”
One of the most common securities violations is prosecuted under Rule 10b-5 of this Act. This act prohibits a person in connection with the purchase or sale of any security:
- “To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,
- To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or
- To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.”
Penalties For Federal Investment Fraud
If convicted of violating a federal law such as the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, you could face up to twenty (20) years in prison. Securities fraud violations can carry with them both civil and criminal penalties, including high fines, disbarment by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), probation, and imprisonment. If you need legal help, call our Houston Securities Fraud Lawyer right away.
Other Federal Securities Statutes
In addition to the above Acts, the SEC may seek prosecution under the following statutes:
- Trust Indenture Act of 1939
- Investment Company Act of 1940
- Investment Advisers Act of 1940
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
- Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010
- Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012
Securities Fraud in Houston TX
The Texas State Securities Board is charged with enforcing the Texas Securities Act. If convicted of a securities violation under this Act, you can face criminal and civil penalties. The Texas State Securities Board investigates violations such as the “illegal sales of unregistered non-exempt securities, sales of securities by unregistered dealers, and fraud committed in connection with the sale of securities.”
The Texas Securities Act
The Texas Securities Act codifies the legal requirements for all securities in the state and for all firms or individuals who sell securities or who render investment advice. The Act strictly “prohibits fraud in the offer or sale of securities in Texas and the rendering of investment advice.” Securities fraud under the Act includes but is not limited to any:
- Material misrepresentations
- Promises made in bad faith
- Intentional failure to disclose a material fact
- Ill-gotten gains or exorbitant commissions and fees
Defenses Against Securities Fraud Charges in Texas
If you are charged with committing securities fraud in Texas, you need the assistance of an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney that can represent you in and out of court. While allegations of fraud can be devastating, there may be defenses in your case. For instance, the Texas Securities Act allows for a number of exempt transactions. If the sale of a security in question falls under an exempt transaction or exempt security listed in the Act, then you may avoid prosecution. Additionally, if you are charged with making a misrepresentation in the sale of a security or when providing investment advice, a leading defense attorney may be able to argue that the misrepresentation was not a relevant fact or was a prediction as to the future that was made honestly and in good faith.
Hire a Knowledgeable Houston Securities Fraud Lawyer
If you are charged with securities fraud in Texas, your entire future could be at risk. The Texas State Securities Board has the right to enforce criminal and civil penalties, including revocation of your professional license. You cannot afford to lose your career and your freedom over a misunderstanding. Contact James Alston Law today for a consultation at (713) 228-1400. Attorney James Alston is a former state and federal prosecutor that understands what it takes to win cases. He is a skilled litigator and board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Do not wait until it is too late. Contact us to get your case started today.