18 Sep 23

Dallas SEC Defense Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 29th September 2023, 07:36 am


Dallas SEC Defense Lawyers

If your dealing with the SEC, you need an experienced Dallas SEC defense lawyer. The SEC don’t play around. They will come at you hard. So you need someone in your corner who knows how to handle SEC investigations and enforcement actions. You need a battle-tested Dallas securities attorney whose ready to fight for you.

I’m going to give you the real deal here on what your up against and how a good Dallas securities lawyer can help. I’m not going to sugarcoat it or use a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. My goal is to explain this stuff in plain English so you understand whats going on.

What the Heck is the SEC?

First off, what is the SEC? It stands for the Securities and Exchange Commission. They are the federal agency that oversees and enforces laws related to the buying and selling of stocks, bonds and other investments. The SEC’s job is to protect investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly.

The SEC has regional offices all over the country. The one that handles Texas is located in Fort Worth. This office investigates and prosecutes securities law violations occurring in the state. If your in the SEC’s crosshairs, theirs a good chance your dealing with the Fort Worth office.

Common SEC Violations

Some of the most common violations the SEC goes after include:

  • Insider trading – using non-public information to trade securities
  • Accounting fraud – falsifying financial records
  • Ponzi schemes – using money from new investors to pay earlier investors
  • Misrepresenting or omitting important facts about investments
  • Manipulating the market through techniques like high frequency trading, pump-and-dump schemes, and spoofing

They also crack down on unregistered securities offerings. Basically, you can’t sell securities without registering with the SEC first. For instance, if your company wants to offer shares of stock, you need SEC approval. They make sure you provide key details about the investment so people can make informed decisions.

How Investigations Get Started

SEC investigations can start in a few different ways:

  • Tips – The SEC gets tons of tips from investors and industry insiders about potential violations.
  • Referrals – Other agencies like FINRA often refer cases to the SEC if they suspect major securities fraud.
  • Surveillance – The SEC actively monitors trading markets looking for suspicious activity.
  • Document Reviews – As part of routine exams, the SEC reviews brokerage records, trade logs, emails, etc.

In other words, they use every tool at their disposal to detect securities law breakers. So if you’ve stepped over the line, their probably going to find out sooner or later.

The Investigation Process

Once the SEC opens an investigation, they start using their expansive powers to gather evidence. Here’s a quick rundown of how a typical SEC investigation unfolds:

  1. Initial request for information – This is usually in the form of a letter asking you to voluntarily provide documents or submit to testimony.
  2. Subpoena – If you don’t fully comply with initial requests, the SEC can issue a subpoena compelling you to produce documents and give testimony.
  3. Wells notice – This is a letter indicating the SEC staff has made a preliminary decision to recommend enforcement action. At this point, your lawyer can make a Wells submission arguing why the case should be closed without action.
  4. Enforcement action – If the Wells submission fails, the SEC formally initiates an enforcement action seeking sanctions.

Defense lawyers try to resolve the case early, before it gets to the Wells notice or enforcement stage. The sooner you can convince the SEC to drop it, the better. But once they start the machinery of an enforcement action, momentum takes over and its tough to stop.

Common SEC Sanctions

If your charged with violating securities laws, your facing an array of harsh sanctions. The SEC has a whole toolbox of punishments they can use:

  • Civil fines – The SEC can impose fines ranging from thousands to millions of dollars per violation.
  • Disgorgement – You may have to give up (disgorge) any profits made from illegal activity.
  • Bars – You can be barred from working in the securities industry or serving as an officer or director of a public company.
  • Injunctions – The SEC can get court orders enjoining you from further violations.
  • Cease-and-desist – You may have to enter into a cease-and-desist order to stop any ongoing wrongful conduct.

On top of that, the SEC often refers cases to criminal prosecutors for additional penalties. So you could end up facing criminal fraud charges too.

Why You Need a Dallas SEC Defense Attorney

By now I’m sure your thinking “this SEC stuff sounds serious, I better get a good lawyer.” Your damn right it’s serious. And if your in the SEC’s crosshairs, you need to lawyer up immediately.

A skilled Dallas SEC defense attorney can advise you through the entire process and defend your rights. Here are some key ways a securities lawyer can help:

  • Negotiate with SEC – An experienced securities lawyer has worked with the SEC staff before. They can negotiate to get charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Challenge subpoenas – If the SEC overreaches with an abusive subpoena, your lawyer can fight to limit it.
  • Prepare Wells submission – This is your chance to argue against enforcement action. Your lawyer will craft the most persuasive Wells submission possible.
  • Defend in litigation – If it goes to litigation in federal court, your securities lawyer can defend you before a judge and jury.
  • Mitigate penalties – Even if your found liable, your lawyer will argue for minimized civil fines, bars, and other sanctions.

You need someone who knows the SEC’s playbook and can effectively counter their moves. And perhaps most importantly, a securities lawyer serves as an objective voice of reason. They ensure you don’t make missteps that inadvertently dig the hole deeper.

Beware of SEC Intimidation Tactics

The SEC employs some common tactics to get people to incriminate themselves or settle quickly. As an experienced Dallas SEC defense lawyer, I’ve seen them use these intimidation methods many times:

  • Good cop/bad cop routine – One SEC lawyer plays nice, the other gets aggressive.
  • Veiled threats – Implying consequences will only get worse if you don’t cooperate.
  • Foot-dragging – Delaying requests and interviews to turn up the heat.
  • Misrepresentations – Making it sound like they have more evidence than they do.

They know most people charged with securities violations are scared and unfamiliar with the process. By playing on your fears, they think they can pressure you into a quick settlement. Don’t fall for their tricks. Have a seasoned Dallas SEC defense attorney at your side to keep you focused.

How to Find the Best Dallas SEC Defense Lawyer

If your charged by the SEC, you want the absolute best legal representation possible. Here are important factors to consider as you look for a Dallas SEC defense attorney:

  • Experience with SEC cases – Look for a lawyer with an extensive track record specifically handling SEC defense cases.
  • Good relationship with SEC – The best securities lawyers have worked cooperatively with the SEC before and have earned their respect.
  • Litigation skills – If your case may go to federal court, your lawyer needs to be an aggressive litigator.
  • Negotiation ability – You want an attorney who can negotiate skillfully with the SEC to get charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Attention to detail – SEC rules and regulations are complex, so your lawyer must be knowledgeable on the finer points.
  • Reasonable fees – This is no time to bargain hunt – expect to pay top dollar for the best SEC defense lawyer you can find.

I’d also recommend looking for a former SEC attorney. Their experience working inside the SEC gives them unique insight into how the agency operates. This can be invaluable in mounting your defense.

The Bottom Line

Dealing with an SEC investigation is scary, stressful, and highly complex. My advice is simple: don’t go it alone. Hire an experienced Dallas SEC defense attorney to protect your interests. With an elite securities lawyer by your side, you’ll get through this difficult process with the best possible outcome.