Floridians are well aware of some of the criminal jeopardy that they may face if they trade stocks based on material nonpublic information. One former lawyer for Apple got caught engaging in this pattern of behavior over a long period of time. However, instead of fighting the charges by denying the allegations, he fully admits what he did and now claims that the criminal charges are unconstitutional.
The defendant had access to the company’s earnings and revenues numbers before they were released to the public. Ironically enough, he was the attorney to issue warnings to others not to trade on nonpublic information. At the same time, he was doing what he was cautioning others to avoid doing. He made over $200,000 in profits and avoided much more in potential losses. He now faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted of each of the counts with which he is charged.
The attorney claims that the charges are unconstitutional because what he did was not specifically prohibited by any one criminal statute. He claims that indictments for insider trading come from a doctrine that is entirely made up by judges and cannot be the basis for a criminal conviction and jail time. However, the Supreme Court has already ruled on this and upheld the constitutionality of insider trading criminal laws.
Those who have been contacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission about their stock trading need legal representation as soon as possible. It is entirely possible to head off an indictment through early communication with the SEC and prosecutors. A white collar crimes attorney could communicate on their client’s behalf as the SEC seeks more information about trading patterns. They may seek to negotiate some kind of civil penalty before it can become a criminal matter.