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  • Writer's pictureGibbs & Sellers

Securities fraud can happen anywhere

Securities fraud is a white collar crime. As such, it can easily be written off by someone as “something that would never happen to me.” However, that is not always the case, and this type of fraud may be happening closer to home than you think.

In 2017, a Jefferson County, AL court indicted two men in a securities fraud scheme. One was a 65-year-old Vestavia Hills, AL man and his partner was a 76-year-old Atlanta resident. Together, these men would convince investors to participate in a profit sharing agreement for the development of medical products and technology, to take place in Alabama. In their sales pitch, the men would make false statements to potential investors, as well as omit facts which could make an investor decide not to participate. They failed to inform them that no investor to the scheme had ever received a return on investment or profit.

Prior to indictment, these men had already received a cease and desist order from the Alabama Securities Commission regarding their unlawful activity. But, they continued to operate. Just as easily as they searched out investors in Jefferson County, AL and beyond, they could have done the same with West Alabama residents. Never assume that your physical location or financial status protect you from becoming a target of securities fraud. It can happen anywhere.

In the state of Alabama, these types of charges are considered Class B and C felonies and carry a sentences ranging from one year and one day up to 20 years in prison. Further, they carry fines of $15,000 to $30,000 per charge. If you suspect an investment opportunity is a possible scheme, an attorney can assist you in investigating it further and determining whether it is a good investment. If proven to be a fraud, he or she can also assist in reporting to the proper authorities.

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