NJ Attorney General Forms Special Office to Prosecute White Collar Crimes
New Jersey is devoting additional resources aimed at policing fraud and other white collar crime. The attorney general has created a special office within the Division of Criminal Justice that is tasked with protecting the financial system and securities investors within the state.
The newly formed Office of Securities Fraud and Financial Crimes Prosecution (OSFFCP) investigates and prosecutes high-level financial crimes, including:
- Business malfeasance — This includes market manipulation, such as price fixing, and securities law violations, such as misstating a company’s financial performance costs. Both types of activities can cause investors millions of dollars in losses.
- Investment fraud — This crime occurs when individuals or organizations sell the public investment packages and business opportunities at greatly inflated values. Examples are pyramid schemes that typically promise unrealistic profits.
- Money laundering — An illegal enterprise such as a drug trafficking organization sometimes diverts profits into a legitimate business in order to hide their origin. Money laundering schemes are often difficult to detect, often involving a complex web of wire transfers and sham transactions.
- Insider trading and self-dealing — Officers, directors or other key employees of large businesses might use their access to private information to buy and sell stock and other securities, which violates federal law. In addition, such individuals might misappropriate or misuse company assets to confer benefits on themselves.
The OSFFCP’s avowed mission is to preserve the integrity of financial and securities markets. It may be expected that the office will be zealous in its enforcement efforts. In this new terrain, it is probable that more business owners and officers, directors and fiduciaries will get caught up in white collar crime investigations.
Also, the people running a new enforcement operation may not be fully prepared for the tasks at hand. Some key employees may be unfamiliar with the law and/or the usual practices in a given industry or business segment. The result can be an unnecessary investigation or even an unwarranted criminal action. Anyone involved in investments or financial services should be cautious when a new enforcement office is involved.
With four locations across New Jersey, the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman represents clients throughout the state. If you find yourself under investigation or charged with a white collar crime, please feel free to contact us online or call 866-221-1270 for a consultation.