SEC enforcement investigations cover a wide range of targets and witnesses, from the big investment banks and their employees, to public companies to private companies who are soliciting investments, small companies. The SEC conducts its investigations privately, and does so by requesting voluntary cooperation or issuing subpoenas for documents and testimony.
The SEC has the power to subpoena any person, including private citizens, who may have information regarding securities fraud. These investigations are not taken lightly and those who are subpoenaed have a duty to testify and to produce the requested documents.
If you are contacted by the SEC, you may be asked to produce an exhaustive amount of documents. For individuals these can include any correspondence you have had with any employees of the company or firm being investigated, plus your financial advisers, tax preparers, stockbrokers, attorneys, accountants, etc. The subpoena may also require production of personal brokerage and banking records, emails and text messages.
Typically the document requests are broad and sometimes overbearing. However, there is room for negotiation, which an experienced securities enforcement lawyer can address, and seek limitations from the Staff.
SEC Investigations can take years to complete, and can have significant issues for those who are involved. If you receive a subpoena, or have a question, call Mark Astarita, a national securities attorney, at 212-509-6544
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Mark Astarita is a nationally recognized securities attorney, who represents investors, financial professionals and firms in securities litigation, arbitration and regulatory matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations and enforcement proceedings.
He is a partner in the national securities law firm Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC, and the founder of The Securities Law Home Page - SECLaw.com, which was one of the first legal topic sites on the Internet. It went online in 1995 and is updated daily with news, commentary and securities law related links.