Miami Insider Trading Attorney

Insider trading is a serious white-collar crime that has been increasing in South Florida. It happens when individuals use non-public, confidential information to buy or sell securities, gaining an unfair advantage in the stock market. If you are accused of insider trading in South Florida, you could face hefty fines, jail time, and other severe legal consequences. With so much at stake, it is crucial to seek expert legal counsel as soon as possible in order to determine the best way to proceed.

At The Kirlew Law Firm, we have over 15 years of experience defending individuals against white-collar crimes such as insider trading. We take pride in our work and dedication to representing clients passionately and aggressively. Schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation with us today—call (305) 521-0484.

What is Insider Trading?

Insider trading refers to the act of making securities trades (think stocks, options, and bonds) based on information that is not accessible to the public. Imagine a senior company executive who decides to buy a considerable number of shares after learning the news that is likely to cause the stock price to rise, but before this information is actually made public.

Insider trading is usually considered illegal because it undermines the principles of fair play and equal opportunity in the financial world. And unlike other types of investment fraud, the victims here are not just individual investors—the entire market is at risk of manipulation when insider trading occurs.

Who is an "Insider"?

According to SEC Rule 10b-5, the definition of an insider is surprisingly wide-ranging. You might think that only top executives, major shareholders, or those with access to confidential information because of their relationship with the company would be considered insiders, but the definition goes beyond that.

Even employees who regularly come across confidential information as part of their job are considered insiders. And if someone outside the company receives a “tip” from an insider about the material, non-public information, they too become an insider. Think of an elected official or a judge who becomes aware through their roles as government officials that a particular patent will become available or a certain company has an emerging technology before the public is aware.

This definition even extends to insiders’ family and close friends. For example, if the CEO of a company shares the news of an upcoming merger with their son, and the son then buys stock in the company before the merger is announced to the public, both the CEO and the son would be considered insiders.

Insider Trading Enforcement

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is the leading federal agency responsible for regulating the market and identifying insider trading. It is also the primary regulator that investigates and prosecutes cases of illegal securities transactions. The SEC has a special division—the Division of Enforcement (DOE)—responsible for taking legal action against those who violate securities laws through insider trading.

But the SEC is not the only one cracking down on insider trading! The Department of Justice (DOJ) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) are two other key players in investigating and prosecuting insider trading. They can bring disciplinary actions or criminal charges against individuals and companies who engage in insider trading, ensuring that everyone in the industry follows the rules.

What are the Consequences of Insider Trading

The consequences of insider trading, like all federal offenses, are imprisonment, supervised release (probation), and fines. A person found guilty can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison for each count and the fine can be as high as $5 million.

Additionally, if you made any money through illegal insider trading, you may be required to forfeit it to the government This is called disgorgement and includes your ill-gotten gains and any interest accumulated.

Conspiracy charges may also be brought against individuals and companies involved in insider trading. Conspiracy charges could be brought against anyone in an agreement to commit insider trading, regardless of whether or not the crime was actually committed. 

Martha Stewart's Insider Trading Scandal

Martha Stewart is a prolific American television personality. But she is also (in)famous for being at the center of one of the most high-profile insider trading scandals in recent history.

It all went down in December 2001. Martha sold nearly 4,000 shares in the biotech company ImClone Systems. The next day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it denied ImClone’s application for a new cancer drug. The announcement made ImClone’s stock price tumble by about 18% on the first day of trading.

The government charged Martha and her former stockbroker with multiple counts of securities fraud—including insider trading—in June 2003. Prosecutors claimed that Martha and her stockbroker had sold the ImClone shares based on advance notice of the FDA’s decision, whereas Martha and her stockbroker contended that they had already agreed to sell the stock if it dropped below a certain price. Martha was found guilty by a jury in May 2004.

As a result of her actions, Martha served five months in prison, five months of home confinement, and two years of probation. She also had to pay a $30,000 fine for crimes related to insider trading. It is a cautionary tale that shows how insider trading can have serious consequences, no matter how famous or successful you are.

Act Quickly to Defend Your Rights—Contact the Kirlew Law Firm NOW!

The stakes are high if you are facing insider trading charges. You could face serious fines and even prison time without a solid defense. That’s why it is crucial to have a seasoned Miami white-collar lawyer like Brian Kirlew, Esq. on your side.

Brian and the team of legal professionals at the Kirlew Law Firm are committed to providing each client with the individualized attention they deserve. With a proven record of success, you can trust that Brian and his team will fiercely fight to protect your rights and challenge any unjust accusations against you. Take control of your defense by calling the Kirlew Law Firm at (305) 521-0484 or reaching out online now.

Brian Kirlew
Heidi S. Kirlew

Antitrust laws were established to protect trade and commerce from abusive practices. Violations can include price-fixing, price discrimination, restraints, and monopolization.

This form of white-collar crime is increasingly common as more people use computers, phones, and other internet-enabled devices to commit acts of fraud, hacking, extortion, and theft.

Thieves take personal information to access banking and financial accounts, make purchases, open utility accounts, or steal tax refunds. In some cases, an identity thief may even use a false identity during an arrest.

This white-collar crime occurs when a thrift utilizes a stolen credit card or other information from that account to make unauthorized purchases. In some cases, they may use the stolen information to take out cash advances against the account.

The illicit selling of fake goods or services over the phone. Many phone scams are framed as a giveaway, or free offer in exchange for sensitive information, like access to banking or credit card accounts.

Often paired with another form of fraud, bankruptcy fraud can be the concealment of assets to prevent forfeiting them, filing incomplete or false forms, filing multiple times in different locations using fake or forged documents, and bribing of court-appointed trustees.

Largely committed by organized crime groups, this form of fraud includes performing unnecessary procedures to bill an insurance company, billing for services that were never rendered, and billing every step of one procedure as if they were individual procedures.

Environmental law makes actions like the illegal disposal of waste, improper storage of hazardous materials, or failure to comply with EPA and state regulations illegal.

An act committed to defraud an insurance company is considered a white-collar crime. This could include attempting to obtain benefits or advantages that an individual is not entitled to or when an insurer denies benefits that someone is due.

One of the most common forms of fraud, mail fraud is when the USPS or private carrier is used to commit a crime of deceit. This could be to obtain money or to sell and distribute illicit goods.

These forms of fraud start with a scheme to steal or obtain financial information by using false representation or promises of goods and services in return.

Crimes committed through extortion and coercion are considered racketeering. Generally, a racketeer obtains money or goods from someone using intimidation tactics or force.

Largely connected to federal government contracting or federally-funded programs, government fraud might involve public housing, agricultural programs, corporate subsidies, and bribery.

This form of white-collar crime is the deliberate failure to pay your taxes or the underpayment of the taxes you owe. It can be underreporting of income, overreporting of deductions, or improperly claiming tax credits and exemptions.

Also called investment fraud, securities fraud involves misrepresenting the information that investors use to make financial decisions.

This is the trading of the stock or securities of a public company that is based on non-public information about the company. This is the profiteering of information based on a company’s assets.

A bribe is the giving or receiving of something of value in order to influence the actions of another person or group.

The major focus of the FBI, public corruption covers a variety of crimes, including the violation of federal law by public officials, fraud related to the procurement, contracts, and funding of federal programs, and other crimes that are related to local, state, and federal governments.

By withholding assets, funds, or goods from an employer or business partner, you are committing an act of embezzlement.

Generally sponsored by foreign entities or outside corporations, economic espionage can target the U.S. government, U.S. companies, or other establishments and institutions. Economic espionage is the unlawful obtaining of financial information

Trade secrets are the information or assets that give a company an advantage over others in the market. The theft of these assets is when someone uses this information without consent of the business.

In addition to State White Collar crime, we also represent clients charged with Federal White Collar crimes,

which are regulated by Titles 18 and 26 of the United States Code. Some of these federal offenses include:

How are White Collar Crimes Investigated?

In almost every federal white-collar criminal investigation, the federal agents and local police officers involved in the case shadow their suspects for months and even years. They utilize wiretaps, subpoenaed bank records, videotape conversations and meetings, property and assets, business records, and cooperating witnesses. The agents often seek to make pre-indictment deals with codefendants or coworkers who they threaten to charge if they don’t talk.

The feds have unlimited resources and they are extremely patient in their investigations. Many times, an agent will get so committed to an investigation that they bend the rules, alleged they witnessed activity that they didn’t and innocent people get wrapped up in the conspiracy that they knew nothing about. This is why it is critical to contact a Miami white-collar attorney the moment you suspect you are the target of a white-collar criminal investigation. With the help of our investigators and forensic accountants, we can often mitigate the exposure a client may face in a white collar criminal prosecution.


White Collar

What is White-Collar Crime?

Generally, white-collar crime is investigated and prosecuted by federal authorities. This means that white-collar crime cases have higher conviction rates than other crimes. Federal prosecutors are able to leverage more resources to pursue a white-collar crime case and are encouraged to close the case quickly.

The punishment for a white-collar crime varies based on what level the crime is being prosecuted at, whether state or federal, and the amount of money involved in the crime. There are no set guidelines that dictate the severity of penalty based on the amount of money stolen; however, generally, larger amounts are punished more severely.

Since the 2002 and 2008 financial crises, there have been more penalties and convictions for white-collar crimes, and as such, penalties have become more severe. On average, a sentence for money laundering is about 48 months in prison. Those convicted of bribery could face 16 months, and those for fraud, 12 months. Tax offenses generally result in 16 months of jail time. And if there are more than five victims, the loss amount is in the millions as opposed to the thousands or the accused qualifies for a host of other enhancements, these penalties can be significantly higher.


When You Should Hire an Attorney When Convicted of a White Collar Crime?

Given the harsh nature of the penalties for white-collar crimes and that federal authorities often lead these investigations, you must hire an attorney in Miami as soon as you’re convicted. In some cases, defendants are only aware of the investigation just a few weeks or months before an arrest is made. It’s important to use any lead time you may have to build a case with an attorney.

While your attorney can’t stop an investigation, they can work with you to defend your rights before, during, and after the trial. If nothing else, you must have a legal representative with you whenever you deal with a federal investigator or while you’re being questioned.

Why You Need a Competent Attorney

When you work with a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at the Kirlew Law Firm, they’ll maintain clear lines of communication with the prosecution throughout your investigation. This could lead to a favorable negotiation before any arrests are made, or the formal prosecution starts.

More than just negotiations, a competent white-collar crime attorney can help draft legal defenses that can help your case. Our attorneys can cross-examine witnesses, manage information about the case, and challenge physical exhibits and financial records that may be used to seal your case. Ultimately, a talented attorney like Brian Kirlew can find small inconsistencies or faults in the prosecution to bolster your defense.


Contact a Miami White Collar Criminal Attorney today!

If you are being investigated for a White Collar crime at the state or federal level (or both), the sooner you get a qualified attorney on your side to protect your rights, the better. Brian Kirlew, Esq. is experienced and skilled at handling these complex and sensitive matters, and is here to represent you in court. Our criminal defense attorneys in Miami are proud to offer you a free phone consultation to ensure that we can best serve you. Contact us immediately to get started.