Authorities have filed a lawsuit against a father and son who allegedly defrauded 26 investors out of $3.5 million. The New Jersey Bureau of Securities contends that the 55-year-old father and his 34-year-old son, both of Bergen County, sold promissory notes for a surgical center, promising returns of 6 to 8 percent.
Reportedly, the two men were not licensed to sell the securities, and the investments were not registered with the state. Allegedly, the medical company was a front for a holding company for five other companies controlled by the father. The lawsuit states that the defendants used most of the money to buy high-end cars and real estate, among other extravagances.
The lawsuit is asking the court to impose penalties on the father and the son and to prevent them from trading securities. Authorities have already revoked the securities registration of the son, who had worked at a securities firm but was fired after his employer learned about his activities with his father.
Anyone accused of a white-collar crime, such as an investment scam, can be looking at very high fines and possibly a long prison term.
Fraud can be criminal or civil in nature, which means that a conviction can result in criminal penalties, civil penalties or both. If convicted in a criminal trial, a person may be sentenced with a prison term, fines, and probation.
In such cases, the accused needs to put up an aggressive defense in order to be spared harsh sentencing. With the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the defendant may be able to have the charges reduced or dropped. Alternatively, an out-of-court settlement to repay the plaintiffs or a plea deal might bring about the same outcome.
Source: NorthJersey.com, "Bergen County Father and Son Accused of Securities Fraud," Kathleen Lynn, Dec. 18, 2013