Those who work in financial institutions are likely aware of the seriousness of consequences related to convictions tied to violations of securities laws. When violations of such laws are alleged, they may be leveled against a variety of individuals tied to a business including executives. These cases are generally complex and may be resolved in various ways to avoid a criminal trial including mediation, negotiation and arbitration.
Of course, the ideal outcome for an executive who has been accused of an illegal activity tied to securities is to have the lawsuit dismissed. This is exactly what happened to a man who formerly worked for Siemens AG. Earlier this month a U.S. federal judge determined that the man's role in allegedly bribing individuals in the country of Argentina was "tangential" and not tied closely enough to bribes that did occur, to be in the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Accordingly, the lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission was dismissed.
The man was one of eight onetime executives with the business who had been accused of bribery. The total alleged in the case was $100 million. While the man in this instance saw the charges against him dismissed, the business was held accountable for the violations. Among other things, Siemens admitted to violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Accordingly, it paid fines totaling $449 million.
As this case illustrates, a charge of violating securities laws does not constitute a conviction. Taking the appropriate steps to defend oneself could result in the charges being eradicated.
Source: Reuters, "Judge dismisses SEC lawsuit against ex-Siemens executive," Erin Geiger Smith, Feb. 19, 2013