If you have been accused of financial or securities fraud, it’s in your best interest to hire financial crime attorneys as soon as possible to help build a defense for your case and fight for your rights. Finance crimes have many different layers and often involve a large amount of documentation, accounting information, and other evidence. For the sake of your future, hiring an experienced legal team will save you from the potential consequences of such high-profile accusations.
Three Reasons You Might Hire Financial Crime Attorneys
Most people have very personal feelings about their money, so if there is any suspicion of finance or securities fraud, many people are willing to launch accusations, even if there is no concrete evidence. If you are involved in handling money, stocks, and other assets, and you have been accused of financial crimes, you may want to reach out to financial crime lawyers in Houston. Some common reasons why you may need to hire finance crime lawyers include:
1. The FBI Is Involved in Your Case
One of the biggest reasons you may want to hire financial crime attorneys is because the FBI is involved in your case. The FBI generally involves itself with high-profile cases or cases where large amounts of money are found to be suspicious. For example, the FBI will investigate accusations of illegal activity related to the exploitation of financial markets, such as stocks, or the deception of finance investors. Some common examples of cases the FBI will investigate include:
- High-yield investment fraud
- Foreign currency fraud
- Hedge fund fraud
- Advanced fee schemes
- Late day trading
The FBI is also known to investigate less elevated financial crimes, such as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes. If the FBI is investigating you for any accusations of financial crimes and fraud, it’s important to seek legal representation right away. Not only will this help you communicate about your case with the FBI, but it will also offer you protection from accidental self-incrimination.
2. You Have Civil or Criminal Charges
In the case of financial crimes, any charges against you may be criminal, civil, or both. Embezzlement charges are generally considered a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense, which means the consequences can include steep fines and jail time if you are convicted. For potentially criminal charges, it’s important to have legal representation to defend your rights in your case.
Your finance crime accusations can also be taken up in civil courts, such as when victims try to claim damages against you for compensation for money lost through investments or pyramid schemes. Charges for civil offenses are generally fines and associated fees. In this case, an experienced legal team can help you build a defense for your civil case. Even if you have both criminal and civil charges, different courts may dismiss your cases based on the evidence, or refer your case to a different court because of newly discovered evidence of intent.
Money laundering can also be considered criminal activity, particularly for illegally obtained funds. While money laundering is a serious accusation, it can sometimes be difficult to prove money laundering accusations. A financial crime defense lawyer will understand the federal statutes that govern money laundering laws, which may be able to help you prove that your activity does not meet the federal requirements for laundering money.
For example, some jurisdictions mandate that any money laundering accusations must be linked to other criminal activity, such as selling illegal substances. Depending on your specific case and the court your case is tried, money laundering charges may be minimized or even dismissed based on certain statutes.
3. Your Company May Be Closed
There is also the risk that your company may be closed because of financial crime accusations. For example, accounting firms may be accused of producing purposefully inaccurate financial reports to benefit your company or a company that may be sending kickbacks for falsified documentation. In this case, your company may be under threat of permanent closure or license removal for financial crimes. Hiring lawyers will help defend your case against potential SOX violations.
SOX or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a piece of legislation that outlines the rules and disclosures for publically traded companies. This act has several rules of compliance, including the establishment of an accounting framework that will document all financial reports with verifiable financial data. Sometimes, companies may not properly document revisions to certain financial documents, which can then result in fraud allegations over simple mistakes.
Financial crime cases are both complex and high-profile, which means you will need the assistance of a skilled legal team to help you defend against accusations or formal charges. For cases in Houston, agencies like the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will likely be involved in your case, so having an experienced team on your side may be able to help you minimize civil fines and other consequences levied by the Department of Justice.