Securities Fraud Lawyers in Miami

Securities fraud, a complex and severe white-collar crime, encompasses numerous illegal activities. The general framework of these allegations is manipulating the stock or commodities markets for personal gains. These allegations involve betraying investor trust, violating investment agreements, and manipulating financial markets.

The spectrum of securities fraud is vast and varied, from insider trading and stock manipulation to misrepresenting a company’s financial health and Ponzi schemes. The government alleges that these crimes undermine the integrity of financial markets but also causes significant harm to investors and can destabilize economic systems.

The Gravity of the Crime

Securities fraud isn’t just a financial offense; it also carries severe legal consequences. Classified under federal and state laws, securities fraud is prosecuted vigorously due to its potential to cause widespread financial harm to investors and the market. The penalties can be severe for those found guilty. The complexity of these cases requires a nuanced understanding of financial practices and the relevant legal principles.

Legal Framework in Miami

In Miami, as well as the entire State of Florida, securities fraud falls under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, i.e., both state and federal regulatory bodies. The legal framework governing these offenses is extensive, encompassing the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and others. These ordinances regulate securities trading, protect against misrepresentation, and ensure transparency in financial reporting. Navigating this intricate legal landscape requires expert legal guidance, particularly as the regulatory environment continues to evolve.

Penalties for Securities Fraud

The penalties for securities fraud are substantial, reflecting the severe nature of these crimes. In Florida state court,  the charges range from third-degree felonies for minor offenses to first-degree felonies for severe cases. Convicted individuals can face steep fines, restitution payments to the victims, and significant prison time.

The exact penalties may depend on:

  • Severity of the fraud
  • Amount of money involved
  • Defendant’s criminal history
  • Number of victims

First-degree felonies are the most severe, involving large amounts of money, sophisticated schemes, and several victims. The penalties include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Second-degree felony cases are larger-scale securities fraud schemes carrying penalties of up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and up to $10,000 in fines.

Third-degree felonies are less severe crimes concerning smaller amounts of money or fewer victims. It can result in up to 5 years in prison, five years of probation, up to $5,000 in fines, and forfeiture of assets.

On the federal level, you can face maximum imprisonment of 25 years, fines reaching up to $5 million for individuals and $25 million for corporations, and three years of supervised release.

Beyond fines and imprisonment, those convicted of securities fraud can face:

  • Loss of professional licenses
  • Damage to personal and professional reputation
  • Difficulty finding employment in the financial sector

It can also lead to other state or federal charges, including misappropriation of funds, wire fraud, etc.

How a Securities Fraud Lawyer in Miami Can Help

Since securities fraud is also a federal crime and usually prosecuted on the federal level, you must have a tenacious litigator to fight against the U.S. Government. Agencies like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are the investigative bodies, and their lawyers can prosecute cases at the civil level. However, if you are charged criminally, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the district where the allegations arose will prosecute the case.

At Kirlew Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of securities fraud and the daunting prospect of facing these charges. We recognize that each client’s situation is unique. So, we draw on our vast experience in criminal defense, white-collar investigations, and litigation to develop a robust defense strategy.



From the initial investigation to trial, our team works tirelessly to protect your rights, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and seek the most favorable outcome. We provide aggressive and effective legal representation to mitigate the impact of securities fraud allegations on your life and livelihood.

We can handle a range of other crimes in addition to fighting securities fraud cases. With Kirlew Law Firm, you gain more than just legal assistance; you gain a partner committed to protecting your interests and securing your freedom.

Accused of Securities Fraud? Get the Legal Support You Need.

Facing securities fraud charges can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to go at them alone. Contact Kirlew Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with Brian Kirlew, Esq. and learn how we can help you through this challenging time. 

Let our expertise in securities fraud defense help you secure a future free from the shadows of these serious allegations.

Call 305-521-0484 or fill out our online contact form for a free initial case evaluation.

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.