Local Professional Punished for Penny Stock Fraud
Recently, a South Florida lawyer was ordered to pay a fine of $1.43 million due to his role in a penny stock fraud scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against the lawyer in December 2012, after years of alleged fraud. The SEC claimed that the lawyer issued hundreds of fraudulent attorney opinion letters that supported the transfer of certain Pink Sheet stocks. He also used the identity of his niece, who is also an attorney, to get around a ban on issuing attorney letters that was levied on him in 2010. By appropriating his niece’s name and false signatures, he was able to continue with his scheme, charging companies between $500 and $750 for each opinion letter. As a result, the lawyer was fined $75,000 for each of the 19 companies that he aided, for a total of $1.43 million. Following his indictment for this fraud, the lawyer was disbarred from practicing law in Florida.
The Impact of Criminal Allegations on Professional Licensing
The impact of a conviction like this can be absolutely devastating. Job applications regularly require applicants to disclose their recent criminal records, and having an arrest or conviction for any kind of crime, including white collar offenses such as fraud, can cause irreversible damage to your chances of being hired. Furthermore, for professionals, reputation is everything. When you apply for a professional license, the criminal background check reaches much deeper, often going back many years and covering a wider selection of jurisdictions. Under such circumstances, the importance of truthfulness is unparalleled, because if you have any convictions relating to a question on your professional license application, you must disclose them, or risk being automatically rejected on account of this dishonesty.
A knowledgeable attorney can help you determine whether past convictions can be removed from your record, so that you can honestly answer that you do not have a particular crime on your record, without fear of being contradicted by a criminal background check.
Help for Licensed Professionals
If you are already a licensed professional, you know that allegations of professional misconduct can put your license and livelihood into jeopardy, leading to the suspension or revocation of your license. The law office of Jeffrey S. Weiner has decades of experience representing doctors, lawyers and other licensed professionals, in addition to amateur and professional athletes and law enforcement agents. Our team can help you if you have been charged with criminal misconduct or are facing sanctions from your professional licensing board, fighting for your reputation at criminal trials or professional grievance or disciplinary hearings.
You have spent too much time and money on your education to be denied the right to practice your chosen profession on account of alleged misconduct. In South Florida, contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. for advice and representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you obtain or keep your professional license.