Insider trading happens when trades and deals are made involving public companies and private information. Everybody remembers high-profile cases like Martha Stewart, but not everybody knows exactly what insider trading actually is. Any time public stocks, bonds, securities or stock options are traded by people who have access to confidential or secret information, that’s considered insider trading. It can happen on Wall Street and in a variety of other financial sectors, industries and entities. It’s important to understand that cases involving insider trading are taken very seriously, and even first-time offenders can be facing extremely harsh sentences, if convicted. If you are facing insider trading charges or if a loved one is under investigation for insider trading, it’s critical to speak with a criminal defense attorney with proven white-collar crime case experience as soon as possible.
Trading With Information not Made Available to the Public
Where public companies and corporations are concerned, trading is supposed to be on an equal and level playing field for everybody involved. The public should have access to the same information as everybody else. If a person becomes aware of secret private information and makes a trade based on that information, it’s considered insider trading. That unfair advantage manipulates the market, and is very damaging for legitimate stockholders and other entities in the market. If a trade is made based on secret information or any information that hasn’t been made public, that person could be facing insider trading charges.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) takes charges involving insider trading very seriously. The SEC will typically investigate these cases and look into what position the person has and whether or not there was a misappropriation of private information. They may look into company officers, directors and any majority owners who stood to benefit from the potential insider trade. There are very complicated laws regarding public trading and the financial sector. In any given case, there could be multiple federal investigating agencies, and cases can be very drawn out.
Insider Trading and Other White Collar Crimes
Insider trading is a type of white-collar crime. White-collar crimes are typically associated with Wall Street and the financial sector, but they can happen in just about any company, corporation or non-profit entity. Although these crimes don’t usually involve violence, they can have very harsh penalties associated with convictions, so if you’re facing insider trading charges or any type of criminal charges associated with white-collar crime, it’s essential to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Insider trading is a federal crime. If you’re convicted, you could be looking at up to 20 years in a federal correctional facility, or more, depending upon the unique circumstances of your case. Additionally, you could also be looking at fines ranging from up to $5 million to $25 million. Add that to other financial damages, and you’re looking at astronomical expenses of a conviction. Insider trading charges should not be taken lightly. These charges carry serious weight, both criminally and civilly. If you’re under investigation for insider trading, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side who understands financial crimes and white-collar crime defense.
Loss of Professional License and Credibility
Another impact of an insider trading conviction is a loss of professional licenses and credibility. Even being under investigation for insider trading can put you in the hot seat professionally. If you’re convicted of insider trading, you can basically kiss your career, as you know it goodbye, even after you’ve served your time and repaid your debt to society. Your financial future, professional future and freedom are on the line if you’re facing insider trading charges or an insider trading investigation. This type of conviction permanently damages your ethical reputation, and you would be hard-pressed to find even an entry level job in your chosen industry after a conviction.
Insider trading charges can happen at any level and at any company. This type of crime doesn’t just happen on Wall Street. Insider trading investigations can be lengthy and complicated, and it helps to have an attorney on your side who understands the weight and complexity of this kind of case. If you have been charged with insider trading or if you are under investigation for insider trading in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the skilled and proven Criminal Defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation today.
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