Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
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As the financial world gets more complex, it becomes harder for financial professionals to maintain an understanding of the various rules and regulations. Because of this, more individuals are receiving subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission. When this happens, it can make a person quite nervous and scared, wondering what will come next. However, instead of weaving your way through the legal process alone or with an attorney who has little or no experience in these matters, contacting an SEC subpoenas lawyer can make the process much easier from the beginning.
Why Am I Being Contacted?
When you receive a subpoena from the SEC, the first thought you’ll have is wondering why you are being contacted by the agency. In most cases, you are being contacted because the SEC has placed you under investigation or it is believed you have relevant information pertaining to a current investigation. In either case, the subpoena will state that you are expected to provide certain documents to the agency, or that you will be expected to testify in court or at a hearing with SEC investigators. If you are the recipient of a subpoena, it’s vital to meet with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may make critical mistakes that could result in further legal trouble. For example, by not having a lawyer present with you during questioning, you may incriminate yourself so that something you say will be used against you. Or if you are asked to provide certain documents, it will be to your benefit to speak with your attorney to find out if it will be in your best interest to hand over the requested documents.
Responding to SEC Subpoenas: Formal Order of Investigation
Once you receive your subpoena, there are several important points your attorney will need to address prior to any action being taken. Of all these, gaining a copy of the formal order of investigation is perhaps the most critical to ensuring all goes well. A document that goes into great detail regarding the agency’s investigation, it can give your attorney additional facts about the case. In doing so, a solid defense strategy can be planned, or your attorney can help you become better prepared to testify at your OTR, also known as an On the Record Interview. At this interview, saying the wrong thing can be devastating. Even if you say something you otherwise believe is harmless, the fact is investigators and SEC attorneys can take your words out of context and use them against you.
What If I Am Charged? Responding to SEC subpoenas.
If after having an OTR or handing over documents you find out the SEC plans to charge you with a crime, you must have the sound advice of a knowledgeable SEC subpoenas lawyer. Realizing you can be charged either civilly or criminally, your attorney will begin to do what is necessary to protect your legal rights. While your case can be heard in a courtroom or in an administrative proceeding with an administrative law judge presiding, many of these matters are settled before they reach either of these settings. Surprisingly to many who are investigated, the SEC prefers to resolve disputes in this manner so that they can keep from becoming bogged down with a handful of difficult to solve cases.
What Are The Penalties if I don’t respond to respond to SEC subpoenas.
If after having a hearing or testifying in court you are found guilty of the charges levied against you, various penalties may be imposed. If you are found to be criminally liable, imprisonment as well as fines may be part of your sentence. However, if you are found to be guilty in a civil hearing, you may be fined thousands of dollars, have your license suspended or revoked, and be forced to repay any profits you made from illegal activity.
Responding to SEC Subpoenas: Use an Experienced Attorney
When you find yourself the subject of an SEC investigation, having an experienced attorney on your side can save your career and your reputation. By focusing on protecting yourself and your livelihood, you greatly increase your chances of having a successful outcome to your case. Instead of letting this become a negative life-changing event, let a skilled SEC subpoenas lawyer help you achieve the results you desire.
Spodek Law Group, PC, is a criminal defense law firm founded by two former prosecutors who handle virtually every type of white collar crime. Pump and dump schemes, are one of the most popular forms of white collar crimes prosecuted by federal authorities. With the rise of the internet, pump and dump market manipulation has drastically increased, and as a result authorities are conducting more and more investigations into suspected schemes. If you’ve been charged with pump and dump market manipulation, you could be accused of violating securities laws which leads to immense financial fines. In addition, if you’re charged with market manipulation, it’s possible you may be investigated by federal authorities and face jail time. At Spodek Law Group, PC, our nyc criminal attorneys can protect your rights and preserve your future.
Pump and dump is a form of stock fraud which typically involves microcap companies. These are companies with a market capitalization of under of $250 million. They are often called penny stocks, because they are trade at levels below $1. Fraud typically occurs when someone is manipulating the stock price by spreading false, or misleading info, resulting in the share price increasing. The person conducting the scheme sells his shares at a profit. The people behind the scheme pump the value of the stocks, and then sell their stock. They stop promoting the stock, which results in the stock price plummeting. Pump and dump schemes are easily accomplished due to the fact penny stocks are traded OTC rather than major markets.
The OTCBB has less regulations and is easier to manipulate.
With telemarketing and internet becoming popular, it’s become easier to disseminate false information. If you’re accused, we encourage you to contact our lawyers. We have extensive experience handling federal investigations, and can help build a credible defense and weaken the opposing prosecutions case.
There are a number of laws that forbid pump and dump:
Securities act of 1933: It prohibits anyone from selling or offering securities as a part of a scheme to defraud. It makes it a criminal act to make material misstatements, omitting material facts, or participating in schemes that defraud purchasers.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934: Prohibits fraud, material misstatements in the sale of purchase of securities
US Code Section 1343: Wire fraud criminalizes any scheme which uses any form of communication.
US Code Section 1341: The statute prohibits fraud and swindles, which use the postal service. If you sent false statements about a company using the mail, then you could be charged with postal fraud.
These are just a few of the laws which could impact you if you’re being investigated for pump and dump schemes.
If you have been sent a subpoena from the SEC, we can help. The SEC has shifted into high gear recently, due to ICO’s/Cryptocoins, and is diligently investigating all issues. SEC Subpoena’s are being sent in full force, and require immediate action. Receiving an SEC subpoena can be jarring – here’s whats important: you have to respond to SEC subpoenas.
Do not ignore the SEC subpoena
Be extremely diligent, and mindful, of the deadline. Even if you question whether the SEC has the right to regulate your industry – the SEC’s investigative authority is broad, and you can’t ignore the subpoena. You have to respond to it.
Hire an attorney
Before you respond to an SEC subpoena, hire an attorney to help you. Even if you believe no laws were violated, new problems can arise if you don’t understand
Be sure to preserve all your documents and data, regardless of what form they are in. Preserve all documents relating to the topics covered by the subpoena. Don’t edit or delete any documents. We can help you gather all necessary documents. Any missteps can result in the SEC pursuing further actions against you. We can also help advise you which documents might be covered under attorney-client privilege, and thus do not need to be produced.
Avoid Non-Privileged Conversations
Be careful about having conversations about the SEC’s request. Limit those communications, and involve your lawyers in ALL Communications – because this can help you maintain attorney-client privilege. If you, or others, have to testify, then non-privileged conversations can become evidence.
Are you a cryptocurrency owner – who just received a subpoena from the SEC, FTC, or State Attorney General? There’s a number of agencies that can subpoena you – due to the fact numerous government organizations are cracking down on ICO’s and cryptocurrencies. In some cases, state attorney generals are joining forces with federal agencies to investigate ICO’s. It’s hard to know whether this is a sweep of the entire industry – or focused on specific types of tokens. What’s clear is that if you’re an early stage ICO, or if you’re a startup using an ICO – you may get sent a subpoena. At times like this, whether or not you face consequences could depend on whether you have a capable attorney or not.
The SEC subpoena, is part of the agencies probe into how companies are using crypto for fundraising. The documents sent by the SEC are detailed, and focus heavily on the token launch, – but could extend to a wide array of other activities and organizational details. Complying with the subpoenas is difficult, and can be draining. If you fail to accurately communicate with the SEC, or accidentally withhold information – this can be lethal to your company.
Due to the fact the subpoenas are new, much about them – especially their focus and intent – is unknown. The SEC can ask for things like a list of investors, marketing materials, organizational structure, the amount of money raised, where you’re keeping the funds, as well as people involved like advisors. It’s possible the subpoenas are just an initial tactic to determine whose a legitimate company – and whose a scam, but it’s hard to say. These subpoenas are very detailed, and the SEC has unlimited resources to pursue investigations.
It’s speculated that SEC is investigating ICO’s where investors receive a token which doesn’t have any use yet or has no blockchain network. It’s probable that the SEC is trying to determine scammy companies, and root them out before they steal funds from investors.
If you’ve received a subpoena, we recommend contacting an attorney immediately who can work with you.
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