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New Jersey SEC Defense Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

New Jersey SEC Defense Lawyers

Being investigated or charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can be an overwhelming experience. The SEC has powerful enforcement tools and pursues cases aggressively. If you find yourself in the SEC’s crosshairs, having an experienced defense lawyer on your side is critical.

In New Jersey, there are skilled defense attorneys who regularly handle SEC cases. They understand the complex rules and regulations the SEC enforces. More importantly, they know how to build a strong defense against SEC allegations.

Common SEC Violations Pursued in New Jersey

The SEC polices a wide range of securities-related activities. Some of the more common violations pursued in New Jersey include:

  • Insider trading – Trading securities based on material, nonpublic information.
  • Accounting fraud – Falsifying financial statements and records.
  • Offering fraud – Defrauding investors in securities offerings.
  • Investment adviser fraud – Misleading or stealing from investment advisory clients.
  • Market manipulation – Artificially affecting the supply or price of securities.

New Jersey has a significant presence of financial services and life sciences companies. The SEC closely monitors their activities and executives for compliance issues. But the SEC also pursues cases against smaller companies and individuals in pump-and-dump schemes, affinity frauds, and other scams.

The SEC Investigation Process in New Jersey

SEC investigations typically start with the Enforcement Division issuing a Formal Order of Investigation. This empowers the SEC staff to issue subpoenas to obtain documents and testimony. The early stages of an investigation are non-public.

The SEC will gather facts through document requests, witness interviews, and sworn testimony. This may go on for months or even years. Many investigations culminate in “Wells Notices” informing targets they may face civil charges.

Experienced SEC defense lawyers engage with the SEC staff early on. They work to control the scope of document discovery. Counsel also prepares witnesses for interviews and testimony sessions. The goal is to present facts in the most favorable way possible.

Often, the SEC and defense counsel will have preliminary settlement discussions. Cases can potentially resolve through an Offer of Settlement or Deferred Prosecution Agreement. If not, the SEC may authorize filing a civil complaint in federal court.

SEC Remedies and Sanctions

If SEC charges are filed in court, the possible sanctions include:

  • Injunctions against future violations
  • Civil monetary penalties
  • Disgorgement of “ill-gotten gains”
  • Bars from serving as public company officers or directors
  • Revocations of broker-dealer and investment advisor registrations

The SEC publicizes all enforcement actions on its website. For businesses and executives, the resulting reputational damage can be severe.

Fighting Back Against SEC Allegations

Accused parties have legal rights during SEC investigations and enforcement actions. Experienced SEC defense lawyers know how to protect those rights.

They scrutinize the SEC’s theories and allegations for legal flaws. For example, some charges involve novel applications of rules never addressed by the courts. Other cases rely on weak circumstantial evidence of intent to defraud.

SEC defense attorneys also look for procedural missteps by the staff that could invalidate their actions. Examples include improper service of subpoenas, failure to properly notify targets of Wells Notices, and missing deadlines.

In litigation, defense counsel will aggressively contest the SEC’s claims. They take discovery from the SEC to probe for weaknesses in their case. SEC lawyers often lack experience taking depositions and responding to document requests.

The SEC has an overwhelmingly high win rate in court. But skilled defense lawyers have succeeded in getting charges dismissed pre-trial. In a few rare cases, they have won jury verdicts against the SEC.

Even if the SEC’s liability case looks strong, defense counsel will argue for reduced sanctions. They present mitigating facts to limit monetary penalties, avoid bars and revocations, and protect reputations.

SEC Defense Lawyers in New Jersey

Companies and individuals facing SEC scrutiny in New Jersey would be well-served by engaging one of these respected defense lawyers. Their guidance can make the difference between a crippling enforcement action and an acceptable outcome.


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