More often than you might imagine, I get a call from a financial advisor – someone who is a registered representative of a broker-dealer or an investment adviser representative of a registered investment adviser firm – and they ask a question like one of these:
What do I need to know if I've been arrested?
What do I need to do if I have been charged with a crime?
Do I have to report a criminal charge on my Form U4?
The most important thing I can share with you is this: you need to get some legal help very quickly. There are time sensitive matters to address. You're likely going to need a good criminal defense lawyer as well as a securities lawyer to consult with you and your defense lawyer.
Understand that most criminal defense lawyers are simply not experienced with the complex regulatory framework for the financial services field. Their main goals are to resolve the criminal case favorably, but they, and you, need to be educated on some potential pitfalls that might wreck your career. You don't want a good resolution to the criminal case and then find out later that it has put you out of the business, gets you fired by your firm, or results in a public record on your Form U4 that will follow you around unnecessarily.
That's why I'm often engaged to provide counsel and advice from a securities regulatory perspective, to help a financial advisor and his or her criminal defense counsel navigate this territory, and to help arm the defense lawyer with information that may be helpful when negotiating charges and resolutions with the prosecutor's office.
So, if you are a financial advisor and have been arrested or charged with a crime, or anticipate being charged with a crime, immediately seek experienced legal counsel to help protect yourself, and your career. Your career may be on the line.
If we can be of service to you, I invite you to contact us.You can reach us at 678-344-5342 or contact us online here at www.thebeckfirm.com.
Update April 2021: If you've been charged with a crime, click here to request you copy of our new free guide, The Financial Advisor's Guide to Arrests, Criminal Charges, and Related Form U4 Issues.