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SEC Subpoena Defense

Attorney Representing Those Who Receive SEC Subpoenas

If you receive a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission – the SEC – you will need to be advised and represented by an experienced SEC subpoena defense attorney. An SEC subpoena may uncover evidence that could lead to civil or criminal charges being filed against you.

No one expects to receive a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, but if you do, there is no reason to panic. If you receive a subpoena from the SEC, SEC subpoena attorney Lisa Bragança can act on your behalf to protect you and minimize the cost and disruption to your life.

Attorney Lisa Bragança is a former Branch Chief in the Division of Enforcement of the Chicago office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. She knows precisely how the SEC works and how to deal appropriately with an SEC subpoena.

As an SEC subpoena attorney, Lisa Bragança represents investment and financial professionals, directors, officers, employees of private and public companies, and others who receive subpoenas from the SEC, and she is ready to advise you and advocate on your behalf.

When is a Subpoena Issued by the SEC?

The SEC may issue a subpoena that compels you to produce documents or to provide testimony if you are being investigated by the SEC or if SEC investigators believe that you have valuable information about another person or business under investigation by the SEC.

If you receive a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, it means that SEC investigators have gathered evidence that warrants a “formal order” of investigation, which gives the SEC the authority to issue subpoenas that seek evidence or testimony in that investigation.

If you receive a subpoena from the SEC, consult with an experienced SEC subpoena attorney at once. Your attorney can obtain a copy of the formal order of investigation, inquire into the nature and scope of the investigation, and advise you about how best to respond.

What Should You Do if the SEC Contacts You?

The SEC may contact you personally before or after a subpoena has been issued. Even if the SEC has not yet issued a subpoena or obtained a formal order of investigation, you need to refer their questions and inquiries to your attorney. Do not discuss with SEC investigators what documents you may have or what you may know that is pertinent to their investigation.

Anything that you say may be used against you by the SEC or by other regulatory and law enforcement agencies including criminal prosecutors. Let your attorney do all of the talking to the Securities and Exchange Commission so that nothing you say may be taken out of context and used against you.

In fact, if you receive an SEC subpoena or call from the SEC, try to avoid discussing the investigation with anyone other than your attorney. Consult with an attorney who has considerable SEC subpoena experience before you provide any statement or testimony.

What Does the SEC Investigate?

The Securities and Exchange Commission investigates wrongdoing within the financial industry. If you receive a subpoena from the SEC, it might have been issued as part of an investigation into one or more of the following:

  1. offer, purchase, or sale of unregistered securities
  2. misrepresentations or omissions relating to securities
  3. stock manipulation
  4. insider trading
  5. securities fraud

An SEC subpoena will not provide much information beyond requiring you to provide documents or testimony, but an attorney with SEC subpoena experience can generally figure out who or what is under investigation.

How Should You Deal With an SEC Subpoena?

An SEC subpoena will provide specific instructions that must be followed precisely. For example, the subpoena will specify a deadline and tell you where to send documents or when and where you are required to testify.

Immediately upon receiving an SEC subpoena, contact an attorney who can work with the SEC to arrange for you to provide documents and/or testimony in a timely manner. When appropriate, an experienced SEC subpoena attorney can request an extension of time to respond.

You should never ignore an SEC subpoena or simply refuse to cooperate. If you are a financial professional, you’ll face harsh consequences, and you could permanently lose your professional license or registration and your ability to work in the financial industry. Even if you do not work in the financial industry, the SEC can get an order from a federal court ordering you to respond. If you ignore that order, you could be found in contempt of court.

Do You Have Any Recourse if You Receive an SEC Subpoena?

With the right attorney’s help, in some circumstances, you can raise an objection to an SEC subpoena, and the SEC may modify its request.

For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission recognizes objections to producing information or testimony that is privileged. Communications between an attorney and client are typically privileged, and so are communications between a married couple.

Additionally, if you are asked to provide information that is self-incriminating, you have the legal right to invoke the Fifth Amendment. If the SEC asks you for self-incriminating evidence, seek an attorney’s advice and help at once. The right attorney will know the best way to respond.

In some cases, the SEC subpoena may be overbroad and seek documents that the SEC is not really interested in obtaining. An experienced SEC subpoena attorney can work with the SEC to determine what the SEC needs first and how to produce that information in the most efficient way possible. Again, it is imperative to consult with an experienced SEC subpoena attorney if, for any reason, you do not wish to provide the evidence sought by an SEC subpoena.

Let your attorney review the details of the subpoena, speak to the SEC’s investigators, and determine the best way for you to proceed.

After You Provide Evidence to the SEC, What Can Happen?

After you comply with an SEC subpoena, you may be asked for additional documents or testimony. SEC investigations can sometimes take years, but at some point, the SEC will make a determination regarding whether or not a securities law violation has occurred.

In many cases, the SEC files settled cases. Before filing its case, the SEC tells you that it intends to seek permission to file formal charges against you in federal court or as an administrative action. At that point, your attorney can discuss what the SEC might accept in order to settle the action and save you the expense and stress of litigating the case. The SEC may require the payment of disgorgement, civil penalties, consent injunctions, office/director bars, or bars from being associated with firms in the securities industry.

In some cases, the SEC may already have referred the case to the Department of Justice to file charges that could lead to a conviction, fines, and even time behind bars.

If You Receive an SEC Subpoena, Contact Bragança Law at Once

If you receive a subpoena from the SEC, you can be represented by an attorney who is a former Branch Chief in the Division of Enforcement of the Chicago office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now, as an SEC subpoena attorney, Lisa Bragança represents financial and investment professionals and others who receive SEC subpoenas or become the targets of SEC investigations. She is ready to represent you.

If you receive a subpoena from the SEC, contact Bragança Law LLC at (847) 906-3460, or use the contact form here on our website. SEC subpoena defense attorney Lisa Bragança will advise and represent you and bring the matter to its best possible conclusion in the most efficient manner.

Client Reviews

Celiza was a great help to me in the course of working to resolve my problem. She was very patient, explaining in detail what was happening and what would follow, doing it in a very professional and friendly...

Barbara M.

As an investor and fiduciary, I have worked with Lisa in several capacities over the last 15 years. Lisa’s diverse background from her tenure as an attorney for the SEC, and in private practice – working on...

Jason M.

Lisa is a strong and tireless advocate. She helped guide me through a complicated investor disclosure issue on a publicly-traded security. Her practical counsel on process--and avoiding unnecessary legal...

Lee B.

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