Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Describes the Charges for Investment Scams
What is Investment Fraud?
New York City is the investment capital of the United States. Both state and federal laws apply to investment professionals throughout New York. Licensing is required to sell or provide advice on investments, and myriad actions are prohibited including pump-and-dump stock trading, pyramid and Ponzi investment schemes, financial statement fraud, and fraud involving unregulated investment products.
A violation of laws intended to protect investors can result in charges of investment fraud. Federal and state charges for consumer or investment fraud can lead to a lengthy prison sentence, a seizure and forfeiture of your assets, loss of a broker’s or other professional license, and other penalties.
You may face criminal prosecution as well as civil litigation for your role in investment fraud and you should ensure you have an experienced investment fraud attorney representing you if you are accused of investment scams or fraudulent investment schemes.
Types of Fraudulent Investment Schemes
You can be charged with investment fraud for involvement in a variety of types of fraudulent or investment schemes including:
- Pyramid schemes: In FTC vs. Koscot Interplanetary, the Federal Trade Commission defined a pyramid scheme to include any scheme where a person pays money for the right to sell a product or service, but receives compensation for recruiting others to sell rather than for the actual sale of the product to an end user.
- Market manipulations: Making false and misleading statements to artificially inflate the price of a stock or to cause the price of a stock to drop.
- Advance fee fraud: Advance fee fraud involves requesting payments up front before an investment deal can go through.
- High yield investment fraud: Promising unrealistically high returns at little or no risk to investors through the purchase of unregistered investments run by unlicensed individuals. The Internet is commonly used to advertise
- Ponzi schemes: Investment schemes where existing investors are paid with funds obtained from new investors instead of with legitimate investment earnings.
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides a comprehensive list of the types of investment fraud schemes that federal and state regulators may investigate. Additional types of investment fraud can include affinity fraud, microcap fraud, and fraud involving promissory notes.
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Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
In many situations, defendants are charged with investment fraud because the government incorrectly classifies a legitimate multilevel marketing program as a type of pyramid scheme or because of a misunderstanding regarding whether something is considered an investment.
An investment fraud attorney can provide representation when you are under investigation for any fraudulent investment schemes.
In New York, the Investor Protection Bureau facilitates enforcement of the Martin Act. The Martin Act is found in New York General Business Law Article 23-A and covers “all deceitful practices contrary to the plain rules of common honesty.” The Act gives broad power to the New York Attorney General to choose between filing civil and criminal charges, to subpoena documents, and to conduct investigations and ask questions while those who are subpoenaed have no right to counsel or right against self-incrimination. Prosecutors taking action under the Martin Act must show that misstatements or omissions occurred but are not required to prove that a transaction took place or that anyone was a victim of fraud.
Federal Level: What are the Penalties?
In addition to state investigations and criminal or civil actions on the state level, you may also face federal charges for investment fraud. You could be charged with:
- Mail or wire fraud, if the investment fraud used the postal service, wire, radio, or television as part of a scheme or artifice.
- Securities and commodities fraud, defined in 18 U.S. Code Section 1348 to include the use of misrepresentations, false promises, or fraudulent pretenses in relation to securities or commodities.
- Violations of securities laws including the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the 1939 Trust Indenture Act, and the 1940 Investment Advisors Act or Investment Company Act.
Penalties can include decades in prison, required restitution, forfeiture of assets, and supervised release. An experienced investment fraud attorney can help you to understand state and federal charges that you are facing and can help you decide how best to respond to allegations made against you.
An Investment Fraud Lawyer Can Provide Representation
Arkady Bukh – a renowned n investment fraud attorney – can help you when you are being investigated by New York or federal authorities. Your attorney can also represent you after indictment, arrest, or after civil litigation has been initiated.
Call us as soon as possible when accused of fraudulent investment schemes for advice on how to respond to charges.