What Is Insider Trading?

Posted on in White Collar Crime
Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerEven with the widely publicized arrest and later conviction of Martha Stewart for insider trading, many people still are not aware of what this crime entails. Many also think that it is a crime of the affluent or those that have acquired fame, perhaps due to the Stewart scandal in 2003. However, people are charged with insider trading more often than many think. So, what does this crime involve? And what are the penalties associated with it?

Insider Trading Defined

Insider trading is when an individual has a fiduciary duty to another individual, institution, corporation, or other entity and makes an investment decision based on information that is not available the general public. The decision can be made in order to profit from that investment or to avoid losses in others. In the Martha Stewart case, she sold her ImClone stocks in order to avoid a loss. Interestingly, insider trading has only been considered a crime in the past several decades. Early in the twentieth century, the Supreme Court actually called insider trading an advantage of being an executive. After the opulent 1920s, and the subsequent Great Depression, public opinion shifted, and the courts’ did as well. It was at this time that insider trading was no longer allowed, and when the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 was created.

Penalties for Insider Trading

The penalties for insider trading will vary, depending on the nature and severity of the case. Most of the time, the penalties will include a combination of fines and jail times. In Stewart’s case, she was forced to pay $30,000 and spent five months in federal prison. Over the past several years, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has also been working to disallow anyone convicted of insider trading to serve as an executive in a publicly-traded company.

Defending an Insider Trader Charge

Like any other crime, the prosecution in an insider trading case must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In insider trading cases specifically, they must prove that securities were actually sold or purchased, that it happened while the defendant had knowledge not available to the general public, and that the information was material. In order for the information to be material, it must be proven that another investor would have thought the information was relevant when determining whether to sell or purchase securities. A proper defense can challenge any of these elements. If the media had leaked information pertaining to a certain security, it would be considered general knowledge the public had access to. Or, perhaps the information was not material and so, should not be considered relevant in an insider trading case. All of these defenses are possibilities, but no one should ever try to fight these serious charges on their own.

Contact a Chicago Federal Crimes Lawyer

If you have been charged with insider trading, or any other federal crime, contact a skilled Chicago federal crimes lawyer in Chicago that can help. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, we know how to defend charges like these, and we will get to work right away to prepare you the best possible defense. Do not take a chance on your future. Call us today at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.


What Is Embezzlement?

Posted on in White Collar Crime
Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerEmbezzlement is a type of white collar crime that comes with serious consequences for those convicted. Embezzlement occurs when someone entrusted with certain property takes that property. For example, a bookkeeper who takes money from her employer may be convicted of embezzlement. Federal prosecutors must prove the following elements to convict someone of embezzlement:
  • There was a trust or fiduciary relationship between the accused and the company or government agency;
  • The property came into the possession or care of the accused by virtue of his or her employment;
  • The accused’s dealings with the property constituted a fraudulent conversion or appropriation of it to his or her own use; and
  • The accused acted with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of this property.
Embezzlement is a crime that often takes place over a long period of time. In these cases, the perpetrator will gradually divert small sums of money into his or her bank account, hoping that these amounts will go undetected. U.S. courts have stated that someone accused of embezzlement cannot escape a conviction by arguing that the property would be returned or was returned. Even a temporary taking of the property is illegal.

Embezzlement vs. Larceny

Embezzlement differs from theft or larceny in that with theft or larceny, when the defendant took the property, the defendant must have had intent to take. With embezzlement, the defendant comes into possession of the property lawfully or with the consent of the rightful owner.

When Will Embezzlement Be a Federal Crime?

Embezzlement can be a state or federal crime. The elements of the crime are essentially the same regardless of whether state or federal charges are brought. If it is a state crime, the trial will occur in state court and, if there is a conviction, the defendant will serve a prison sentence in state prison. Some cases of embezzlement will be tried in federal court. To be considered a federal case of embezzlement, there typically must be an instance of an act or communication across state lines. This requirement is often met by wiring the money or by mailing documents out of state.

Contact a Chicago, IL Embezzlement Lawyer

If you have been charged with embezzlement, there are specific defenses you can raise. A qualified Chicago, IL embezzlement attorney will know what your best arguments will be in a courtroom in front of a jury. A lawyer will also know how to navigate all pre-trial proceedings and negotiations, which can take months to conclude.

To set up your free initial consultation, call our firm at 312-629-0669. In order to serve our clients fully, our phones are answered 24 hours a day.



What Is Bank Fraud?

Posted on in White Collar Crime

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal justice statutes,Bank fraud is a very serious crime that affects thousands of people, with the intention to allegedly benefit the culprit and take away from the victim, financially and emotionally. Bank fraud is very important to understand thoroughly so that one can avoid being the victim of this crime and to protect his or her banking information and quality of life.

Bank Fraud Defined

Bank fraud can come in three different forms:


embezzlementEmbezzlement is defined as theft of funds that have been placed in a legal trust or to an employer, adversely affecting businesses and people worldwide. Those who are involved in this federal crime often exhibit certain behaviors, such as living beyond their means, complaints about lack of authority, excessive family or peer pressure for success, instability in life situations, and control issues.

Embezzlement Red Flags

Embezzlers often exhibit behaviors that should be interpreted as red flags, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. In over 80 percent of the reported cases, the embezzler has exhibited at least one of these additional behavioral traits in the period before the embezzlement was discovered:


White Collar Crime in Illinois

Posted on in White Collar Crime

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal statutes, Illinois criminal lawyer,Most everybody has heard the term “white collar crime” before, but not everyone understands what it means. There are a wide variety of criminal activities that fall into the category of white collar crime, most of which involve the theft of data and financial assets to be used for personal gain. In many cases, the criminal does not even come into contact with their victim, and many victims of white collar crime report being unaware the offense was happening at all. White collar crime is very serious, and anyone facing charges related to a white collar crime should seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Common White Collar Crimes

Many different crimes fall under the white collar umbrella. These types of crimes often occur in business or professional settings, leading to the name “white collar.” Common crimes that are considered white collar include:

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