How to Become a Tax Attorney?

Before choosing a Tax Attorney, it is important to ask around for recommendations. Also, look up the attorney’s reputation online. You should be wary of hard-sell tax attorneys who ask for all the money up front. However, many tax attorneys do accept retainers. Ask questions about the firm’s experience and their plan of action.

Job description

The job description of a tax attorney includes a wide range of duties. They assist customers, advise businesses, and analyze tax laws. Typically, tax attorneys work full-time, during normal business hours. During tax season, overtime may be required. However, most tax attorneys are able to spread their workload throughout the year. Tax attorneys can work for one of the Big Four accounting firms such as Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, or KPMG, or they can establish their own private tax law practices. Some tax attorneys are also kept on staff at individual businesses with significant tax needs.

A tax attorney helps clients understand the complexities of tax laws and advises them on how to minimize their tax liability. They conduct extensive research and meet with clients to determine their needs. In addition, they may represent their clients in tax disputes. A tax attorney may also work in private practice, either as an independent attorney or as part of a legal team.

Education requirements

To become a tax attorney, you’ll need to complete at least a law degree from an accredited law school. While most schools do not offer specialized tax courses, you can take a few to see if tax law is right for you. After graduation, you will need to pass a bar exam in the state in which you wish to practice. The exam is usually a two-day or three-day exam, and you’ll need to take a preparation course lasting six to eight weeks.

As a tax attorney, you’ll have to have a strong understanding of math and accounting. This is crucial to your role in this field, because you’ll need to be able to communicate complex tax code concepts to clients. In addition, you’ll need to be able to read statutes, analyze case law, and conduct thorough research.

Bar exam

The Bar exam is a comprehensive test with several different sections. It consists of six types of questions and is presented back to back over three days. The content is not rigid and the right answer for any of the questions may not be clear at first. This is why it’s important to study specifically for the exam.

In order to become a tax attorney, you must pass your state’s bar exam. These exams vary from state to state, and may contain multiple-choice questions as well as written essays. The exam also requires you to pass a set of ethics questions and maintain a certain number of professional standards. Once you’ve passed the exam, you can continue your education by enrolling in continuing education courses in your field.

Experience required

To become a tax attorney, you will need a background in accounting, mathematics, and tax law. The job requires a lot of communication and problem-solving skills, as you will be required to explain complex laws and regulations to clients. Additionally, you must have strong research skills and be able to analyze case law and statutes.

A tax attorney’s education begins with the completion of four years of pre-law and three years of law school. The best electives to take during pre-law are general business taxation, estate planning, and financial services. In addition, attorneys must pass a state bar exam and continue to take continuing legal education courses. Licensed attorneys are expected to adhere to all laws and regulations in their state.

Fees

Most tax attorneys offer a free initial consultation. This is a great way to learn whether a tax attorney is the right fit for your needs, and to ask any questions you have. Many attorneys provide a free consultation of at least 30 minutes. It is also an opportunity to discuss the costs and fees of hiring a tax attorney.

Fees for a tax attorney can vary depending on the complexity of your case. For a simple IRS appeal, fees can range between $5,000 and $10,000. For US Tax Court litigation, fees can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

Should I Hire a Real Estate Lawyer for Buying or Selling a House?

Is It Important to Ask a Lawyer When You Are Buying a Residential House?

You may be aware that the state of South Carolina requires licensed attorneys to conduct real estate closings in person, and you will want to have a skilled South Carolina real estate attorney helping you throughout your real estate process.

The seminal case was State v. Buyers Service Co., in which the Supreme Court of South Carolina wrote that it was convinced that real estate and mortgage loan closings must only be conducted under the supervision of attorneys with the ability to furnish legal advice and that protection of the public was of paramount concern.

Duties of the Closing Attorney

South Carolina requires a lawyer to be present at the closing of a real estate transaction and has issued best practices guidelines relating to this order. The South Carolina Supreme Court lists essential components of closing as including five categories:

  • Title Search
  • Loan documents
  • Closing
  • Recordation of documents
  • Disbursement of transaction funds

All of these steps exemplify when you want and need to have legal representation because every step should be supervised by a lawyer. Specific steps that demonstrate the need for attorneys include:

  • Receiving the contract — Essentially the first step in the home buying process, receiving a contract leads to a closing attorney reaching out to every party to gather all of the information on the transaction required of both the buyer and the seller. When it comes to the buyer, the attorney will coordinate with a lender to obtain banking documents and keep tabs on receiving inspection reports while ordering a title abstract. For a seller, a lawyer will gather information about mortgages needing to be paid off, loan insurance, inspection reports, and other homeowner documents.
  • Reviewing the title to the property — An attorney will learn all about the history of your potential property. Examining the title will mean researching the chain of ownership, including deeds from one owner to the next, going back a minimum of 61 years for a particular parcel of land. An examiner will verify that all mortgages or liens against the property are satisfactory, and also lists any easements or defects in the title. A title search often requires research on an exact parcel that has been deeded. A piece of land may have been combined or divided over the course of many prior decades.
  • Applying for Title Insurance — This will secure your purchase. After a clear title has been determined and an attorney has issued a title opinion, they will apply for title insurance. The title insurance will be the policy insuring the good title of the property so a lender has an assurance that it can be used as collateral for a loan.
  • Collecting and preparing documents — An attorney collects all of the documents from a lender as well as disclosures and assorted other documents from a realtor’s closing coordinator. The deed and settlement statement will then be prepared, and an entire package of all required paperwork to finalize a purchase will be readied.
  • Closing — At closing, the parties will meet with an attorney who will explain all of the legal documents to the parties and then walk each party through what needs to be signed, as well as how they affect each party. A buyer should expect a closing attorney to explain all of the loan documents, including the interest rate, amortization schedule, late payment or prepayment penalties, terms of the loan and maturity date, and events of default. Following the signatures, the buyer receives the keys to their new home.
  • Disbursements of Transaction Funds — Essentially the loose ends, an attorney will be the clearing house for all of the funds being brought to a closing with the lender, the seller, and the buyer. The funds will be held in a trust account until disbursement, and the attorney will coordinate payments based on a settlement statement. Prior mortgages will be paid off, and bills from third parties included in the transaction, commissions, and seller’s funds are also dealt with.
  • Recording the Legal Documents — This step makes the transaction official. Every executed and pertinent document to the transaction will be filed in the appropriate public records, and proper indexing will be verified. An attorney continues to follow up with lenders to make sure the satisfactions of liens or mortgages are filed when appropriate, and then file for the final title insurance opinion. Both the buyer and seller will receive original documents filed and a record book of the transaction.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a South Carolina Real Estate Attorney

Are you preparing to buy or sell a home in South Carolina? You are going to need to retain legal counsel at some point, so you might as well contact South Carolina Real Estate Attorney as soon as possible.

Mark W. Weeks was born and raised in Charleston, SC. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Newberry College and his law degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He founded Weeks & Irvine in 2010.

How to Choose a Good Atlanta Closing Attorney

Choosing an Atlanta Closing Attorney

If you are thinking about hiring an Atlanta closing attorney, there are several things to keep in mind. The following article will explain the functions of a closing attorney, their fees, and their requirements. Hopefully, you will be able to use this information to make an informed decision. In addition, this article will help you choose the right attorney for your needs.

Functions of a closing attorney

When a buyer buys a house in Georgia, it’s essential to hire a licensed Georgia closing attorney. The attorney will be responsible for overseeing the transaction and handling any encumbrances that may be on the property. The attorney will contact all parties involved and handle the details, including drafting a power of attorney and negotiating on your behalf. The attorney should be included in your purchase agreement.

The closing lawyer in Atlanta will also explain the contents of all of the relevant documents to both parties. Typically, closing attorneys represent lenders in lender-funded real estate transactions and buyers in cash purchases. Although each party may have their own attorney, it’s customary for the attorney to serve as the liaison between the buyer and seller. The closing attorney is required to act fairly and impartially for both parties.

The closing attorney will also oversee the conveyance of the property based on the terms of the contract. This will include making sure the buyer’s lender has first lien position when recording a security deed. In other states, this document is known as a mortgage. The attorney will also have to do a title search to make sure that no encumbrances are on the property. Additionally, the closing attorney will prepare and arrange for the closing ceremony.

Fees of a closing attorney

Atlanta closing attorneys charge fees for a number of services, including drawing up closing documents and representing the buyer in the closing process. They are responsible for ensuring that all documents are properly prepared and that the title to the home is clear. Typical closing costs are around 6% of the sales price of the home, but they can be negotiated if necessary.

A licensed Georgia attorney must be hired to close a real estate transaction in Georgia. These attorneys are required by law to represent the buyer in a lender-financed transaction, and the seller in a cash-purchase transaction. In other states, title companies handle the escrow and closing process.

Georgia law requires closing attorneys to review and verify the seller’s ownership of the property. They also order a thorough title history search of the property. A title search can reveal unpaid taxes, lawsuits, and other issues.

Requirements of a closing attorney

In Georgia, real estate transactions must be closed by a licensed real estate attorney. While many states delegate these functions to title companies, in Georgia, the attorney must represent the buyer’s lender or seller in cash transactions. During a transaction, the closing attorney will review and explain all documents to the buyer and seller. Additionally, the attorney will arrange the closing ceremony and oversee the recording of documents.

A Georgia closing attorney will be required to prepare a statement that outlines the details of all receipts and disbursements made by the buyer and seller. This statement will be provided to both the buyer and seller, as well as the broker, if applicable. A Georgia closing attorney should also have the experience necessary to handle such a complicated legal process.

In addition to making sure that all legal requirements are met, an attorney can negotiate on behalf of the buyer and seller. He can also prepare the necessary documents for the closing process, such as power of attorney documents. Lastly, he can help the buyer and seller get the best price possible on the property. A good closing attorney can also save the buyer time, energy, and money.

Choosing a closing attorney

If you are planning to purchase a home in Atlanta, choosing the right closing attorney is important. This is because mistakes can delay the process, and a delay can mean the process must start all over again. This can be devastating to a family moving into their new home. Choosing an Atlanta closing attorney that specializes in business law can help ensure the process goes smoothly.

While other states may allow a title company to handle closing issues, Georgia requires an attorney to be present at the closing of real estate transactions. A qualified Atlanta closing attorney will coordinate with all parties involved in the transaction, including real estate brokers, buyers, sellers, parties holding judgments against the property, the tax department, home inspectors, and buyer’s insurance company.

Real estate attorneys usually charge around $150 to $300 per hour. However, some may charge per service. In Atlanta, Stan Faulkner, a real estate attorney, has 18 years of experience.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

3 Laws That Every Business Entity Should Follow in 2023

Launching your brand in the commercial space needs plenty of preparation. One of them is knowing the business laws to comply with state, federal and local regulations. Companies unfamiliar with the legal essentials are susceptible to failure and losing big money in lawsuit. Studies found that 36% to 53% of small businesses are sued annually and about 45% of small businesses are currently involved in litigation as of 2022. The average liability suit costs at least $54,000. More than 75% of small business owners live in fear that they might be targeted for a lawsuit.

Kellogg launched a new ad campaign in 2009 for its Rice Krispies cereal claiming that it boosts children’s immunity. Various private individuals along with The Oregon attorney general and the FTC had issues due to a lack of scientific evidence. Multiple allegations were rolled into one and the company settled for $5 million as per Lexology report. McDonald’s, Apple and Red Bull also faced major financial setbacks with class-action settlements. So, below are a few legal necessities to stay compliant and protect your brand. Knowing these will keep you from getting caught off guard.

1. Pay-to-Play Law

Pay-to-play is the unethical act of money exchange with government officials to enjoy certain favors, privileges or benefits. It can be in areas like politics, entertainment, sports and business. New Jersey’s Pay-to-play law seeks to ensure open and fair public contracting that must be free of the sway of political interests. Section 84308 prohibits a party from looking for a permit, license and similar entitlements in return for political contributions.
Entities holding contracts worth more than $250,000 are banned from pay-to-play disclosure. As of February 2022, 15 states and the District of Columbia have pay-to-play laws of general jurisdiction and several other states have industry-specific pay-to-play laws. Make sure your company is in compliance with state contracts for a customized plan.

2. Privacy Laws

There is no single US law for the privacy of data but a mix of GLBA, FCRA, COPPA, VPPA and FERPA. These give consumers the right to control their data and businesses must strive to create a better world with a safe internet presence. Companies that store and process information are required to stay updated on the latest regulations even if there is a lack of a comprehensive privacy framework. This helps to ensure compliance with the data collection laws that regulate the collection, use and disclosure of personal data while setting standards regarding how to take care of sensitive details.

The US Privacy Act of 1974 establishes rules and regulations regarding US government agencies’ use, collection and disclosure of personal information. One of the is the right to access data based on an employee’s role in a company. Three states like California, Virginia and Colorado have comprehensive consumer privacy laws which applies to the residents. It is a good idea work with your lawyer and learn about the size of the income level of businesses the laws apply to, cure periods and whether you may use tools or authorized agents.

3.      Tax Laws

Businesses must file and pay federal taxes on income earned annually. This will need you to get an employer identification number. The nominal federal corporate tax rate in the US is a flat 21% since January 2018 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017. Not being able to pay the amount leads to Failure to Pay Penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or a part of the month the tax remains unpaid. Take some time to review the social security, Medicare, federal tax and federal unemployment tax needs.

You may also have to collect and pay state sales and state and federal excise taxes on specific business activities and property taxes on assets. Income taxes are also applicable for Sole Proprietors, Multiple-Member LLCs, Partners and Single-Member LLCs.

Try to protect your personal assets, ensure your workers and be careful not to violate trademarks. Check for licensing needs before opening doors to the public. Know the rules and guidelines about internet advertising to avoid anything that hurts customer sentiments. File for bankruptcy if your business debt is getting out of hand. Following these steps can help your new company run without hassles.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

How to Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Gainesville GA

Getting a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville GA is important if you have been accused of a crime. There are several things you should consider before hiring an attorney, including cost, experience, and availability. You can find a highly experienced Gainesville criminal defense attorney in our directory or through the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines.

Getting a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville

Hiring a criminal defense attorney is a crucial step if you’re facing criminal charges. Despite the fact that the law requires that you have an attorney, the process of going to court can be frightening. Thankfully, Georgia has a number of top-notch attorneys who will help you fight your charges. A good Gainesville criminal defense attorney will know the law and your rights, and they won’t back down when the police or prosecutors violate your rights. In addition, they won’t pressure you into a plea deal if you don’t want to. They should also have a proven track record of success, including numerous trial victories in Georgia.

Criminal charges have serious consequences, and while some people don’t take them seriously, they often choose to represent themselves in court. Even minor crimes can result in jail time, fines, and the inability to secure future employment, housing, or education. Therefore, it’s crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you. You can find a highly experienced Gainesville criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines.

Cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville

If you are charged with a crime in Gainesville, GA, you need to find a competent criminal defense attorney. An experienced Gainesville attorney will be familiar with Gainesville laws and will not back down from your rights. He will also be able to defend you from prosecutors and police officers who may try to intimidate you into a plea bargain.

The cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney in Gainville GA depends on the type of charge that you are facing. A typical misdemeanor charge can range from $1,500 to $3,500. If you are facing a felony charge, the fee could be as high as $10,000 or more. You should also factor in the trial fees, which may cost up to $20,000 or more.

You should not hire a criminal defense attorney based on a personal relationship or a friend’s recommendation. It’s best to research a lawyer’s experience and expertise. If you are charged with a violent crime, you may want to hire an attorney with experience in your specific case.

Common mistakes to avoid making in hiring a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville

It’s crucial to choose a criminal defense attorney based on their qualifications, skills, and reputation. It’s also important to avoid lawyers who guarantee a particular outcome. These claims are misleading and irresponsible. A good criminal defense attorney will carefully analyze the specific circumstances of your case, identifying its strengths and weaknesses. This will help you get a better idea of how the case will proceed.

You should also choose a lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about Gainesville criminal law. Experienced lawyers know how to navigate the court system and will not back down if prosecutors or police violate your rights. They also won’t pressure you into a plea bargain. Furthermore, a good criminal defense attorney will have a proven track record of success and have won many trials in Georgia.

One of the most common mistakes is hiring a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in criminal law. Criminal laws are always evolving and you need a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville who stays up to date on new legal strategies. It’s also best to avoid attorneys who practice bankruptcy and personal injury.

Finding a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville

If you are charged with a crime, you should consider finding a criminal defense attorney in Gainesville. A good attorney will know the local laws and will not back down when prosecutors and police break your rights. In addition, they will not pressure you into accepting a plea bargain. Finally, they should have a good track record, with many successful trial victories in Georgia.

A good place to start your search for a lawyer is the LII Lawyer Directory, which features profiles of more than one million attorneys throughout the United States. There are also profiles of legal aid organizations, pro bono attorneys, and legal service organizations. By looking at the profiles of these organizations, you’ll be able to determine whether the firm you’re interested in represents clients who are in need of legal representation.

You can start by comparing the background of the attorneys in Gainesville. The city of Gainesville is home to nearly 39,000 people. The city is known as the “Poultry Capital of the World,” as many people are employed in the poultry industry. Despite its small size, it has a higher crime rate than many other U.S. cities. In fact, many of the attorneys in Gainesville work with clients charged with crimes that include murder, assault, drug possession, and theft.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

Infidelity in America – Why Do People Cheat?

There are signs your spouse could be cheating and you can ask any private investigator in the United States what keeps them busy on a regular basis and pretty much every one of them will reference infidelity investigations. It’s a mainstay of the industry that won’t be changing anytime soon, if ever.

Private investigators hear stories all the time, though mostly just from the person who is the victim of marital infidelity. They don’t always hear the reasons for one person cheating in a relationship, but certain facts often rise to the surface over time.

So why do people cheat? Why do they hurt those they claim to love? Why do they risk their happy lives for the purposes of instant gratification?

There are many reasons, of course, but there are ones that pop up more frequently than others. Let’s look at some of the top reasons Americans cheat on their spouses, as indicated in a 2019 survey that was published in Psychology Today.

The survey asked 500 cheaters why they had engaged in a relationship outside of their marriage. Here are some of the top responses:

  1. They Fell Out of Love. This was the top answer on this 2019 survey of cheating partners, with 77 percent saying they simply didn’t love their husband or wife any more and were looking for those feelings of love and care from others.
  2. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) said they cheated out of boredom and that they needed some excitement in their life. It’s noted by those conducting the survey that men gave this reason for cheating more often than women did.
  3. Feelings of Neglect. In the reverse of the previous response, more women than men gave this reason for cheating on their spouses. Feeling a lack of attention from their spouse, this answer was chosen by 70 percent of respondents to the survey.
  4. Situation Forces. This is simply to say that a husband or wife cheated as a result of a situation that presented itself that they weren’t expecting. Maybe they were in a bar and one thing led to another, etc. This answer was also chosen by 70 percent of survey respondents.
  5. A Self-Esteem Boost. More than half (57 percent) of respondents said they cheated on their husband or wife to make themselves feel better and more desirable. They needed a boost to their self esteem.

This full 2019 survey and accompanying Psychology Today story can be referenced here.

There are more reasons for cheating that are included in the article referenced above, including sexual desire, anger related issues and lack of commitment to one’s spouse. But we thought we’d just mention the top five for our purposes here today.

Regardless of the reason or reasons a husband or wife cheats in a marriage, it can have often debilitating consequences for everyone involved.

If you suspect your spouse is cheating on you, it’s a good idea to have a professional private investigator look into the matter for you.

Gather the proof and then you can make an informative and knowledgeable decision about what’s best for you, your marriage and your life moving forward.

This article is written by Henry, owner of Aces Private investigations Tampa.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

How can a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer help?

If you are in the market for a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, you have come to the right place. Jardine Law Offices is a law firm that specializes in the field of personal injury protection. They will help you understand your rights and determine the best way to proceed in your case.

Getting a car accident lawyer

If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s imperative that you get the help of a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Even if you’re not seriously injured, the accident can lead to financial problems for you and your family.

If you’re the victim of an accident, the insurance company will want to settle your claim as soon as possible. It’s best not to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company before you consult with a Salt Lake City car accident attorney. While the insurance company’s initial offer might seem appealing, the insurance company’s goal is to avoid litigation, which forces them to offer more money.

A Salt Lake City car accident attorney has the experience and training necessary to successfully negotiate with insurance companies. A car accident attorney will know how to handle the insurance company’s claims process and how to maximize your compensation. They will be able to gather witness testimony, analyze police reports, and investigate medical records. They will also know how to retain the best experts who can help your case.

Evidence collected by a car accident lawyer

When it comes to car accidents, you must make sure to document everything you can about the incident. This includes the make and model of your vehicle, license plate number, and driver’s information, insurance information, and phone numbers and addresses. It is also important to take photographs of the scene. It is also a good idea to get a police report if possible.

You may also want to collect eyewitness testimony. Eyewitnesses are very important because they can give a lot of valuable information about the crash. The other driver’s insurance company will also likely collect this information. This evidence can help establish who is to blame for the accident. Also, photos taken at the scene of the accident will help prove who was at fault.

Whether you are at fault for the accident or not, proving that the other party was at fault is essential to your case. Utah uses a modified comparative fault system that allows you to recover some compensation even if you were partly to blame. In this case, you must prove that the other driver was at least 51% at fault in the accident.

Limitations of personal injury protection coverage for car accident lawyers in Utah

Limitations on personal injury protection coverage are an important issue to consider in your claim. In some cases, personal injury protection coverage isn’t sufficient for the injuries you sustained. In these cases, you can seek the help of an attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether your claim is worth filing.

Personal injury protection coverage is required by law in Utah, and it must be arranged before you can bring a lawsuit against the other party. This type of coverage will pay for medical treatment and other costs incurred as a result of an accident, up to the limit. In addition, this coverage won’t pay for pain and suffering or non-monetary damages.

When filing a lawsuit, make sure your attorney understands how your BI policy works. The coverage limits will determine whether you qualify for full compensation. In some cases, you may not be eligible for full compensation if you don’t have enough medical documentation to support your claims. A Utah attorney can help you with this important issue.

Retaining your composure as a car accident lawyer

The first step when you’re involved in a car accident is to remain calm and collected. Car accidents are typically devastating, and no one wants to be involved in one. However, they can happen at any time, so keeping your composure and calling a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City as soon as possible will help you recover maximum compensation.

While it’s important to remain calm and collected, it’s important to remember that the accident scene is an important place to gather evidence. It’s important to document every single detail, including any injuries. While you may feel like you’re uninjured, traumatic brain injuries can be delayed for days or even weeks. If you have any symptoms of an injury, go see a doctor and get an accurate diagnosis. Medical records will also be helpful for claiming compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re likely to be in shock. You’re likely to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. You’re likely to be nervous, and you don’t want to say the wrong thing. As a car accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, Robert Miner has seen cases in which people weren’t awarded a fair settlement because they said or did something they later regretted.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

What is Securities Fraud?

Otherwise known as stock or investment fraud, securities fraud is a serious white-collar crime that takes many forms and involves misrepresenting the information that investors use to make investment decisions. Whistleblowers who report undisclosed information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding securities fraud are granted protection from employer retaliation and may receive a portion of any financial recovery made by the SEC. If you have inside information regarding violations of federal securities laws, it may be in your best interests to contact a securities fraud lawyer to speak in private about the evidence you have.

Defining Securities Fraud

Securities fraud refers to a broad range of illegal and unethical activity that involves investment markets and the misrepresentation of information that investors use to make decisions. Individuals committing securities fraud may provide false information, offer bad advice, withhold important information, and act on or offer inside information in order to manipulate investors and financial markets for their own benefit.

Securities fraud harms investors and the integrity of our country’s financial markets and economy. Securities fraud can be committed by groups or organizations like brokerages, as well as by individuals such as stockbrokers. Common examples of illegal activity in securities fraud lawsuits include:

  • Ponzi and pyramid schemes: A Ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme is a scam that generated money from new investors for previous investors. Characteristics of a Ponzi scheme include high returns and little risk, as well as consistent return flow regardless of market conditions.
  • Hedge fund fraud: Hedge fund fraud refers to any type of financial misconduct committed by or for a hedge fund. Types of hedge fund fraud scams include false guarantees of high returns, advanced fee schemes, embezzlement, and the operation of Ponzi schemes.
  • Advance fee schemes: In advanced fee schemes, investors are asked to pay an up-front fee. Scammers may describe it as a deposit, administrative fee, processing fee, underwriting fee, or tax. Be aware of any unsolicited investment offers, because it could be an advanced fee scheme.
  • Broker embezzlement: Broker embezzlement is a form of stock broker fraud and occurs when a broker obtains an investor’s assets legally and then uses the assets for unintended, unauthorized, undisclosed, or personal purposes. Types of broker embezzlement include outright theft, unauthorized trading, and excessive trading.
  • Late-day trading: Late-day trading refers to the illegal practice of recording trades that are made after the market closes as having happened before a mutual fund’s daily net asset value (NAV) calculation. Late-day trading is an illegal practice that is most often performed by hedge funds but differs from after-hours trading.
  • Foreign currency fraud: Foreign currency scams, also known as forex scams, occur when scammers seek to defraud traders by promising high returns by trading in the foreign exchange market. Signs of a foreign currency scam include promises of unrealistically high returns, unnecessarily complex jargon, and pushy brokers.

Securities Fraud Warning Signs

Securities fraud can be hard to detect without access to inside information, so the SEC counts on whistleblowers to help stop fraud that hurts investors. Because securities fraud takes many forms, the warning signs may differ between different types of scams. Common warning signs that an individual or organization may be involved in securities fraud include:

  • Unsolicited investment offers: Unsolicited investment offers or sales pitches, including cold calls, emails, or in-person offers, are frequently seen in fraudulent investment schemes. Unsolicited investment offers can come from strangers or someone you know, such as a coworker or friend.
  • Seller inquires about personal information: Salespeople or stockbrokers who request personal information, including bank account information, are often a sign of an investment fraud scheme. Additionally, never send a check by mail to an alleged stockbroker or salesperson.
  • High-pressure sales tactics: Fraudulent investment schemes often employ pushy salespeople and use high-pressure sales tactics to manipulate investors into making quick decisions. Legitimate stockbrokers understand that clients need time to think over investments prior to making a decision.
  • Offers that sound too good to be true: Promises of high rates of returns and quick profits are among the most common signs of a securities fraud scam. In general, investments that offer high returns are inherently high risk. Most of the time, when promises are made about investments. it is likely to be too good to be true and should be regarded as a red flag.

The SEC Whistleblower Program

After the 2008 financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted to help protect consumers from predatory financial practices. Referred to as the Dodd-Frank Act, this bill established the SEC Office of the Whistleblower, which offers whistleblowers who provide valuable information regarding securities fraud a portion of any financial recovery. The SEC whistleblower program also offers protections against employer retaliation and allows whistleblowers to remain anonymous when filing a securities fraud claim.

The SEC encourages potential whistleblowers to report instances of security fraud that have already happened, are currently happening, or which are going to happen. When a whistleblower reports information regarding securities fraud that leads to the government making a financial recovery, the whistleblower is entitled to a reward of between 10 and 30 percent of the total amount recovered.

Remain Anonymous when Reporting Security Fraud

Potential whistleblowers are often apprehensive about reporting illegal activity like securities fraud for fear of employer retaliation. Unlike other government programs that reward whistleblowers for their information, the SEC allows securities fraud whistleblowers to submit a claim anonymously if they have retained an attorney.

Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Act protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation. The SEC states that employers cannot fire, demote, suspend, harass, or discriminate against an employee in any way for taking whistleblower actions.

Learn More about Securities Fraud from a Lawyer

SEC whistleblowers who provide valuable information regarding violations of securities law could receive a significant whistleblower reward if the information they provide leads to a successful financial recovery. Multiple securities fraud whistleblowers have been rewarded with SEC whistleblower awards of over $100 million.

If you are considering becoming a securities fraud whistleblower, an SEC whistleblower attorney can guide you through the legal process and assist you by helping you draft and file an anonymous claim, communicate with SEC lawyers on your behalf, and help you file for an SEC whistleblower reward for your bravery and contributions.

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