Compared to other types of criminal offenses, the timetable for securities fraud lawsuits often can be much longer than for other forms of crimes.
In a recent example, a Florida man is facing two counts of securities fraud. If convicted, each count could result in a 25-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, the man's trial has only just started -- about one and one-half years after the grand jury indictment.
The grand jury based its decision on two quarterly reports that the man filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on behalf of Home Solutions of America, a public company based in Dallas. At the time of the filings, the man was working as a contractor for the company. Authorities claim that the reports listed false revenue, income and cost data, allegedly for the purpose of defrauding investors. The CEO of Home Solutions, who also was indicted, has already pled guilty to securities fraud charges.
Stockbrokers and brokerage firms are likely aware of the consequence that might result from breaching their fiduciary duty to investors, either through misconduct or by providing misleading information. Nevertheless, despite the long prison sentences that can result from a conviction, examples of securities fraud continue to make the news.
Source: bizjournals.com, "Tampa contractor Brian Marshall faces Nov. 14 securities fraud trial," Jane Meinhardt, Nov. 12, 2013