Securities fraud is the transaction in securities based on the knowing falsification or lack of disclosure of pertinent facts about the securities transacted. This type of fraud includes insider trading, price manipulation, accounting irregularities, and fraudulent sales practices. The federal government can charge this type of crime under various statutes such as securities fraud, wire fraud, and/or mail fraud.
The Securities and Exchange Commission investigates and brings civil enforcement actions involving allegations of securities fraud. In some instances, the SEC works closely with the Department of Justice. In other cases the SEC investigates independently. Both offices can bring actions. The Department of Justice charges criminal conduct while the SEC brings civil enforcement actions.
States also have criminal and civil securities enforcement provisions. The aggressiveness with which the states enforce their securities provisions varies greatly.
Mr. Serafini specialized in this area of fraud while serving with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
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