In today's economy, it is nearly impossible for individuals in Miami to earn all of the money that they will need to have a secure retirement. Based off of pure income alone, most people would not be able to enjoy or even have a retirement. That is why many of people invest in the stock market. But investing requires a considerable amount of trust that what is being sold is legitimate and that the seller has the legal ability to sell. Unfortunately, some people's unscrupulousness means that innocent investors may be defrauded.
It seems south Florida's newest perpetrator of securities fraud is an attorney from Boca Raton. The lawyer, who has previously been sanctioned by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was arrested and has made an initial appearance in Miami federal court. If what the FBI says is true, this would be the second time that the lawyer has violated federal securities law, the first of which led to him being disbarred in New York.
According to the FBI, the lawyer had been selling stock to an FBI informant. The problem was, however, that the company whose stock he was selling had not yet had its initial public offering, meaning that the attorney was fraudulently selling the stock. His alleged actions violated the registration provision of the 1933 Securities Act. Moreover, the FBI has also said that the attorney was responsible for the company's false and misleading registration statement with the SEC.
Because the buyer was an FBI informant, it is unclear if he or she actually lost money on this fraudulent scheme, but it is important that law enforcement has stopped the lawyer from participating in any further activities that could potentially cost innocent victims their life savings.
Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Boca Raton attorney arrested on securities fraud charges," Oct. 26, 2012
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