What do orange groves, telephone services agreements, horses, promissory notes, and cemetery burial plots have in common? They all have been involved in some of the most important securities cases in the last 75 years. You may not have known that you have been buying or selling securities, but, if you received a subpoena from the Indiana Securities Division, investigators think it is a security as defined in Indiana Code § 23-19-1-2(28). If they want you to talk to them, you should first talk to someone who speaks their language: an Indiana securities law attorney.
An Indiana Securities Law Attorney Is Your First Line of Defense
A subpoena from a state government agency may seem harmless. But the issuance of a Securities Division subpoena means that a proceeding of some kind has been commenced, whether based on a complaint by a customer or a full-scale criminal investigation. The Indiana Securities Division has broad powers. Before doing anything else, consult an Indiana securities law attorney with experience in Securities Division criminal investigations.
1. Contact an Attorney Experienced in Securities Law and Securities Division Investigations.
If you received a subpoena from the Indiana Securities Division, you are likely the target of an investigation. If you aren’t a broker-dealer or investment adviser and you received a subpoena, the investigation is probably a Securities Division criminal investigation. A securities lawyer that handles corporate mergers and acquisitions is probably not going to be much help for you. You need an experienced Indiana securities attorney that understands securities and criminal law and has experience with how the Securities Division conducts investigations.
2. Request Copies of All of Your Bank Records.
You received a subpoena because someone filed a complaint with the Securities Division. Investigators already contacted that complainant, who reported which bank he or she sent money to or received money from. So, the Securities Division probably already has obtained financial records from your bank, including your signature cards, statements, and copies of all cancelled checks and deposits.
The investigators did not need your permission to request your records. The bank did not need your consent to release the records. And neither the investigators nor your bank had to notify you that the records were requested and produced.
If the Securities Division has this information, your attorney needs it, too. During the investigation you may be asked about transactions that occurred years ago. To be prepared, you need to obtain and review records of your bank transactions.
3. Gather the Requested Documents.
Whether or not you ultimately comply with the request for documents from the Securities Division, you should start by gathering the requested documents and any related documents so your attorney can review them and make an informed recommendation.
Some documents may be helpful to your situation; some may not. For example, some documents you gather may not be responsive to the subpoena. There also may be ways to prevent the disclosure of some or all of the documents. Some documents may be protected from disclosure by privileges, such as the attorney-client privilege.
If you are a broker-dealer or investment advisor, or otherwise registered with the Securities Division, you will probably have to provide the documents. If you don’t, you may be sanctioned for not cooperating.
Alternatively, it is possible that the Securities Division does not have jurisdiction to investigate you. If you are not registered, the Securities Division alone cannot compel you to provide the documents. But it can request that a court issue an order to compel compliance or it may seek a search warrant for the documents. On the other hand, complete cooperation with the investigation may benefit you, too, but that is not a decision you should make on your own.
Finally, just because the Securities Division thinks a security is involved does not mean one is. An Indiana securities law attorney with access to the relevant bank and financial documents and documentation from the Securities Division can give you informed advice on how you should proceed.
Matt Kestian currently practices law in the areas of criminal defense, securities law, and business litigation at Camden & Meridew P.C. in Indiana. He is a former Prosecution Assistance Unit Attorney for the Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division, and a former Hamilton County deputy prosecuting attorney. He prosecuted securities crimes both in Hamilton County and in several other counties across Indiana and in both the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. In addition, Matt has advised investigators during the investigations of a wide variety of complex crimes including homicides and sex and Internet crimes. Contact Matt, an experienced Indiana securities law attorney, at (317) 770-0000 or use his website contact form for a prompt consultation.