The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 as the result of deceitful accounting practices and corporate fraud that became front page news in some of the major public scandals involving Enron, WorldCom and other well-known companies. The Act was designed to restore public confidence and trust in major corporations and the markets and to protect investors and the economy.
Since the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, executive and financial officers of public companies, as well as outside auditors, must sign off on all financial statements and disclosures in order to hold them accountable for any illegal acts performed within the corporation relating to financial affairs.
While Sarbanes-Oxley establishes some new requirements, accusations of violations of financial reporting laws are not new. The Cochran Firm criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in the practices of corporate law and the defense of those wrongly accused of fraudulent acts.
Harsher Penalties for Financial Fraud
Since Enron and other high-profile corporate scandals, prosecutors have sought harsher civil and criminal penalties against people accused of deceitful practices and fraud. Fines and penalties for the falsification or altering of any objects for the purpose of misleading any investigation may also include up to 20 years in prison. Willful and knowing certification of false statements may include a $5 million fine or up to 20 years in prison.
Also called investment fraud, securities fraud is the practice of deceiving and manipulating investors with the intentional result of theft. The trading of securities and commodities markets has caused an increase of fraud involving investors, shareholders, executives, and other parties interested in the market.
Securities and financial fraud charges can be extremely complex, and The Cochran Firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense lawyers who specialize in financial fraud cases remain at the top of their game in defending innocent clients wrongfully accused of fraud by overzealous prosecutors.
SEC prosecutions of late have begun placing the majority of their focus on general counsel for corporate executives. General counsel now must report any wrongdoing of which they are aware. Otherwise, when the illegal practices are discovered, the general counsel himself may be held accountable. Complaints have arisen claiming that this current crackdown on general counsel is damaging their relationships with the companies and executives they represent.
Mortgage Fraud Prosecutions
Mortgage fraud when investigated for the purposes of prosecuting suspected parties includes delving into practices such as:
- Falsifying income
- Inflating appraisals
- Asset misrepresentation
- Liabilities misrepresentation
In most cases, the truth behind these items was not known by the mortgage lender. Otherwise, the loan would likely not have been written.
Recent prosecutions relating to mortgage fraud include:
- Housing developers
- Mortgage lenders
- Mortgage brokers
- Real estate agents
- Gang, drug, and organized crime operations
Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys
It is important to always remember that everyone, no matter what crime they have been charged with, is innocent until proven guilty. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in order to reduce the amount of fraud corporate executives and others in positions of power are capable of accomplishing without being discovered.
The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense Attorneys will provide you with experienced lawyers who may be able to assist you during this difficult and traumatic time.The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense attorneys are well-versed and skilled in defending those who have been accused of white collar crimes including securities and financial fraud.
If you have been charged with a Sarbanes-Oxley violation or any crime involving financial fraud, please call or email our experienced corporate crime defense attorneys today.