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West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Receiving a Subpoena from the SEC

As a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer, located in West Palm Beach, FL; I am asked to review facts regarding white collar crimes on a regular basis. South Florida is froth with White Collar criminals, like Bernie Madoff and Scott Rothstein, as all remember when both of their criminal cases made worldwide news. But what about innocent individuals, who find themselves in trouble because of dumb mistakes regarding business associates or business partnerships. Should we treat those people the same under the law?

The answer to the question is NO! Federal laws do treat different wrongs, with different punishments. Recently, the Law Office of Andrew D. Stine has been representing individuals involved with a financial scam labeled JCS Enterprises Services, Inc. (“JCS”), T.B.T.I. Inc. (“TBTI”), and My Gee Bo, Inc. (“Gee Bo”). This scam originates in the United States District Court For The Southern District of Florida. On April 7, 2014, the SEC (Security and Exchanges Commission) filed a complaint in the form of an Injunction against Joseph Signore and Paul Schumack titled: “Securities and Exchange Commission v. JCS Enterprises Inc., d/b/a JCA Enterprise Services, Inc., T.B.T.I Inc.,” in front of the Honorable Middlebrooks.

The facts of “Securities and Exchange Commission v. JCS Enterprises Inc., d/b/a JCA Enterprise Services, Inc., T.B.T.I Inc.,” are convoluted and lengthy but to put it in a nutshell it can be said that: The allegations made by the SEC alleged that Signore and Schumack, through their receivership entities, sold unregistered securities in the form of virtual concierge machines which violated the Securities Act of 1933. It can also be said that allegedly the same individuals violated the antifraud provisions of the Security Act and Security Exchange Act.

With those facts in mind, many innocent investors were duped into making investments into the companies listed above which were involved in wrong doings. The innocent investors are said to have received “false profits.” Basically, there was an allegation of a Ponzi scheme, whereby the investors were providing payments to the companies in exchange for lucrative returns, with each new investor paying for the one before it. In the end, there are really very little profits if any, but just a pyramid scam that eventually runs out of money through new investors.

The SEC will bring criminal prosecutions against those that are not innocently duped into the type Ponzi scams.  But what about all those who invested into the Ponzi or pyramid type scam that are innocent dupes or just investors with knowledge of the Ponzi scheme? Many times, the SEC and other Federal Agencies will forgo prosecution of those individual investors, but rest assure the Federal Agencies will first subpoena the innocent dupe’s bank records.

What is the purpose of the SEC subpoenaing the bank statements or records of the innocent investors? The answer is simply, disgorgement of ill-gotten funds! The SEC, as does many other Federal Agencies, hold fast to the belief and policies that the individuals involved directly or indirectly in a Ponzi scheme or pyramid scam should give back all the proceeds plus interest and fines.

After receiving a subpoena from the SEC or any other Federal Agency requesting bank records, what should you do? Contact West Palm Beach Criminal lawyer, Andrew D. Stine immediately. While one may object to a subpoena requesting Bank records, it is not likely to stop the records from being subpoenaed and received by the Agency seeking the records. But one may object to the scope or broadness of the records being sought under a subpoena. This narrowing of the records helps to properly frame the legal issue and reduce the harm to the individual.

Does a person have a 5th Amendment Right to object to a subpoena for bank records? The answer is no! According to the case of Federal Institute for Patent and Trademark registry v. State, Office of Atty. Gen., 979 So. 2d 1162 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2008); the custodian of the records must turn over the bank records through a proper subpoenas requesting the bank records; unless the individual can show that the government is only subpoenaing the records for authentication purposes, to build a criminal case against the cooperate officer or individual, or to obtain an incriminating acknowledgment of his control of the materials.

Therefore, by hiring a seasoned Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer to review the subpoena and determine why the SEC and other agencies may want the bank records is critical in protecting you from criminal prosecution. Andrew D. Stine, has been successful for over a decade in keeping these types of federal matters in a civil arena and thus, protecting many clients against criminal prosecutions.

If you or a loved one receives a subpoena from a Federal Agency, like the SEC, contact Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine immediately. With more than a decade of criminal defense experience and knowledge, you owe it to yourself to be protected by Andrew D. Stine, the best criminal lawyer in Palm Beach, FL. Hire Stine or Do the Time.

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