Making a profit off of buying and selling stocks takes a level of skill, knowledge, and luck. While every successful day trader possesses a keen eye for the trends of the stock market, many also rely on advice and tips from the people around them. Florida securities fraud laws list several acts that are considered fraudulent securities transactions to help ensure that tips involving the stock market are legit. This is a quick summary of the securities fraud laws in Florida.
Prohibited Acts Under Florida Securities Fraud Laws
Florida securities fraud laws protect investors from being bamboozled by brokers, advisors, or friends with fraudulent investing tips. These deceitful acts carry various prison terms as well as hefty fines. Also, these penalties may be enhanced if the violator is considered a repeat offender of these crimes. The following table outlines the specifics of Florida securities fraud laws.
Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act, Florida Statutes Chapter 517: Securities Transactions
Under Florida securities fraud laws, it is unlawful for a person:
In connection with the rendering of any investment advice or in connection with the offer, sale, or purchase of any investment or security, directly or indirectly:
- To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud;
- To obtain money or property by means of any untrue statement of a material fact or any omission to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading; or
- To engage in any transaction, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon a person.
To publish or circulate any communication which describes such security for a consideration received or to be received without fully disclosing the receipt, whether past or prospective, of such consideration and the amount of the consideration.
To knowingly and willfully falsify or conceals a material fact, make any fraudulent statement, or make or use any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry.
Any person who violates Florida securities fraud laws is guilty of a felony of the third degree. If convicted, this is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Any person who violates these laws by obtaining money or property of an aggregate value exceeding $50,000 from five or more persons is guilty of a felony of the first degree. If convicted, this is punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Habitual felony offenders may face enhanced penalties and mandatory minimum prison terms. Violators may also face civil penalties.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Florida Securities Fraud Laws: Related Resources
Charged under Florida Securities Fraud Laws? Contact an Attorney
You don't have to be a famous television personality like Martha Stewart to be charged with securities fraud. Even the average person has to adhere to the laws or face steep penalties. If you're facing charges of securities fraud, it's in your best interests to reach out to a white collar crimes lawyer to discuss your charges and learn about your options.