In New York, there are a variety of different types of white collar crimes that fall under the umbrella of securities and commodities fraud. A person who is convicted of committing one of these crimes might face prison and substantial fines.

Ponzi schemes are one type fraud that is well-known. In a Ponzi scheme, the person running it pays existing investors returns from money invested by new investors. Signs of Ponzi schemes include promises of high returns with little risk, returns that are too consistent, complex strategies and unregistered investments. Pyramid schemes are similar in that older participants are paid out of proceeds from newer ones. In these, people earn commissions based on recruiting new participants.

Investment fraud involves the illegal sale of different financial instruments. It is characterized by guaranteed and overly consistent returns, unregistered securities, complex strategies and no-risk investments. Broker embezzlement involves brokers that steal their clients’ money. Market manipulation is a type of fraud in which low-volume stocks are pumped up in value and then dumped into the market, causing them to fall and dragging investors down with them.

Securities fraud is treated harshly under state and federal law. People who are accused of committing an act of securities or commodities fraud may want to get help from a criminal defense lawyer who has experience with defending against allegations of white collar crimes. People might want to seek help when they learn that they are being investigated. The attorney might be able to negotiate with the prosecutor in an effort to secure an agreement that charges will not be filed.