SEC Defense Lawyers for Companies and Securities Professionals in Cupertino, California
SEC Defense Team Lead
Former DOJ Trial Attorney
Cupertino is said to be the “heart” of Silicon Valley and home to some of the most important semiconductor and computer companies in the U.S. For this reason, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has taken a special interest in this area, targeting both startups and established companies alike.
If you or your company/firm are being contacted by the SEC in Cupertino, California, don’t hesitate to reach out to our SEC fraud defense lawyers. At Oberheiden P.C., we have proven experience representing companies and individuals as counsel in matters in which the SEC is involved, and many of our senior attorneys have served in enforcement agencies for many years, acquiring extensive knowledge about their internal proceedings.
Representation for Firms, Companies, and Individuals in All SEC Matters
The securities market is subject to a strict regulatory framework that is constantly evolving and changing, impelling companies, firms, and corporate executives to stay updated and to tread with extreme precaution when attempting to fulfill their legal obligations. Failure to comply with even the most superfluous requirement could lead to severe charges and penalties.
The lawyers at Oberheiden P.C., can represent individuals, companies, and firms in myriad SEC investigations, especially related to the following allegations (among others):
Front running is defined as the action, on the part of brokers or brokerage firms, of entering into a security trade just before nonpublic information about a large pending transaction for said security is disclosed. Investors, both institutional and individual, are also prone to commit front running if privy to inside information about a pending “block” transaction that could quickly drive the price of a security in a given direction. Corporate executives or company insiders are examples of such investors.
This practice effectively entails an unfair advantage that would undermine trust in the integrity of the securities market, which is why the SEC prosecutes this type of conduct in a fierce fashion.
Brokers and financial advisors who execute an excessive number of trade orders to generate commissions (always to the detriment of the client), could face charges of “account churning” on the part of the SEC.
To incur penalties for churning, brokers need to perform frequent buys and sales of stocks or assets without procuring substantial financial gains for their clients. There is no set number of orders to be placed for the action to be deemed as account churning, which is why securities professionals must proceed with care when managing their clients’ portfolios.
Trades During Blackout Periods
Corporate insiders could trigger the SEC’s punitive powers if they execute trades during certain periods, known as “blackout periods.” These blackout periods originate from various events, such as the company’s announcement of its quarterly or yearly financial results, or corporate mergers. It’s typically understood that, during these spans of time, there is a particular susceptibility for the market sentiment to shift, which is why these trades could be presumed to be a form of “insider trading” and are penalized regardless of whether a material nonpublic information (particularly one that can affect the price action of the security) even exists.
Securities fraud comprehends a broad array of activities that are intended to benefit a party by harming another. This could be done by misrepresenting an asset, omitting important facts about a trade, or faking credentials, among other methods.
Some forms of fraud are easier to detect and prosecute than others. Catching a scammer red-handed with a fake trading license is a far simpler endeavor than trying to demonstrate the intent behind an omission or misrepresentation, for these last two acts don’t necessarily imply ill will on the part of the alleged fraudster.
The overly ample definition of “securities fraud” contained in federal securities legislation leaves little room for most novel fraudulent practices to be overlooked, but is questioned due to the legal uncertainty that it raises, potentially hurting the interests of honest sellers.
Defending Against Securities Fraud or Securities Law Violation Charges
A good defense should rest on truthful information and not be based on mere conjecture or hearsay. In order to build an effective and efficient defense strategy, several milestones should be reached along the way.
The SEC tends to be very exhaustive in its inquisitive efforts. In light of this, an internal investigation must be conducted and overseen by outside counsel which is just as exhaustive (if not more) than that conducted by the federal agency. That way, incriminating vulnerabilities in your records can be detected and corrected before they spring up during an inspection.
Preparation for SEC Subpoenas
Subpoenas are known to produce high levels of stress and anxiety, no matter how innocent the summoned party may be.
If a subpoena was issued by the SEC (a very common occurrence during an investigative phase) a good defense lawyer should be qualified to prepare clients so that they only disclose information – through written documents or an oral testimony – that is not damaging to their interests and that could not be used against them in the future.
Assessment of All Potential Defenses
The findings of the internal investigation described above ought to be then synchronized with all the documentation produced and testimonies obtained under subpoenas after the fact. When all these elements have been gathered and analyzed, a blueprint of a thorough and cohesive defense strategy should be drafted, containing all the plausible routes and sifting through the ones that could ensure a more favorable outcome.
Specific allegations require specific defenses that are pertinent to counterattack the claims, along with the documentary evidence that could back them up if necessary. If there are errors of law on the part of the SEC, a good defense lawyer would have to bring them to the fore, especially if they are suitable to inhibit the SEC from proceeding further with the investigation.
Execution of Strategy
The lawyers at Oberheiden P.C, pursue an active role in the execution of the defense strategy and are not content with simply handing down the list of arguments and documents to bring forth. In several instances, this implies speaking with the SEC authorities on behalf of the client and coming to terms with them to guarantee the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions about SEC Defense in Cupertino, California
Why Doesn’t Oberheiden P.C. Call Itself the Best SEC Fraud Defense Firm?
Apart from not being allowed to utilize these identifiers – as it’s prohibited under current regulations related to legal marketing – we have a policy of letting our records speak for themselves. We are confident in the results our clients have attained thanks to our duly designed defense strategies.
Moreover, a vast number of our senior attorneys have joined our team after a long tenure in agencies dealing with financial fraud and securities violations. This gives them a favored vantage point from which they’re able to foresee the actions performed by enforcers in the course of an investigation, therefore increasing the chances of success.
Can the SEC Prosecute Criminal Cases?
The SEC’s Enforcement Division can’t conduct criminal cases, although they’re entitled to forward the case to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which has the legal capacity to pursue criminal charges for securities-related offenses. This does not hinder the SEC’s efforts in determining civil or administrative liability and performing legal actions in that regard.
What Are the Penalties of a Securities Violation?
The penalties of a securities violation are not always of a criminal nature, but they mostly involve large sums of money to be paid by the offender, in the order of millions or even billions of dollars in some specific circumstances. Securities fraud allegations can end up with a criminal investigation and a prospective jail sentence issued by a criminal judge.
Is the SEC Only Concerned with Securities Offenses?
This is a very important question, as its answer could ultimately steer the defense strategy in a whole different direction. While the SEC in theory only concerns itself with civil and administrative liabilities, an SEC-related matter could quickly evolve into a multi-faceted investigation that garners the interest of other agencies such as the FBI or the IRS. For this reason, a good counsel should be on the lookout for all possible vulnerabilities during the internal investigation, especially considering that the SEC works in tandem with other enforcement actors.
Schedule an Appointment with a Cupertino SEC Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.
Once you’re aware of a possible investigation by the SEC against you, the very first action you should take is to seek legal counsel. The sooner you obtain legal aid, the better your chances of overcoming the legal challenges ahead, with a higher probability of eluding sanctions.
If you require an SEC defense lawyer in Cupertino, California, call us now at 888-680-1745 or fill out our contact form, and we will promptly arrange a consultation appointment with you. Our commitment is to privacy and confidentiality, and we guarantee that we won’t be disclosing any information obtained during our meetings.