State and Federal Securities Law Violations
Securities fraud is a serious crime under both federal and California securities laws. Law enforcement prosecutes the crimes and may obtain restitution for victims but the federal and California securities laws also grant victims the right to sue for civil damages which in some cases can exceed just getting your money back.
Common examples of securities fraud include insider trading, manipulating stock prices, lying on required filings, fraudulent accounting by overstating profits and understating expenses and use of offshore accounts, misleading or inadequate disclosures of information, false business projections, Ponzi schemes, and other deceptive and corrupt practices. Each year, according to federal and State regulators investment fraud costs Americans $10-40 billion. Californians lose their share of that money, and you may be among the victims.
The San Francisco and California securities fraud attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent California consumers in individual victims of securities fraud and class actions and whistleblower cases alleging both federal and State securities law violations. If you are over 65 any securities fraud you have suffered will also constitute financial elder abuse entitling you to extra damages and reimbursement of your attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in suing the wrongdoer. Our attorneys know how important private enforcement of securities law is and understand the fraudulent practices that violate both federal and State securities laws. If you or a loved one lives in California and has suffered a loss as a result of securities fraud, call us today at (415)441-8669.
What Constitutes Fraud Under Federal and California Law?
The Securities Act of 1933 (“the Securities Act”), and the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (“the 1934 Act”) are the leading federal securities laws, both promulgated during the Great Depression. For consumers, most securities cases are brought under Section 10(b) of the 1934 Act and rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued thereunder, particularly Rule 10b-5:
It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails or of any facility of any national securities exchange,
(a) To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,
(b) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or
(c) To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person,
in connection with the purchase or sale of any security.
17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5.
“Security” is broadly defined to include stocks, bonds, puts, calls, options, futures and other investment contracts, and variable annuities. Sellers of securities must register themselves and any public offerings with the SEC and lack of registration is itself a crime and can be a count in a civil case for damages under the Securities Act.
The primary securities fraud statute in California reads:
It is unlawful for any person to offer or sell a security in this state, or to buy or offer to buy a security in this state, by means of any written or oral communication that includes an untrue statement of a material fact or omits to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which the statements were made, not misleading.
Calif. Corporations Code § 25401. Unlike the federal rule, California law does not require an injured plaintiff to prove that the wrongdoer acted intentionally or negligently with respect to any “untrue statement of a material fact.” It is enough that any communication to buy or sell a security in California “includes an untrue statement of a material fact.”
The California securities fraud attorneys at Evans Law Firm know what practices constitute violations (including by avoidance through offshore companies) of federal and State securities laws and California’s elder abuse laws. Hard evidence of fraud is critical; offerings, prospectuses, other communications, accountings, filings, transaction reports and your notes of any conversations with the wrongdoer are all essential to your case. We can assemble your evidence of any fraud and organize it effectively to pursue your claims under federal and/or California law. If you are a senior, we will pursue all remedies available to you under California financial elder abuse laws, including extra damages (beyond what you’ve lost) and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs to you for bringing your action against the wrongdoer/financial abuser.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of securities or other financial fraud or financial elder abuse, call the San Francisco and California securities fraud attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with fraud and financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.