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Investment Fraud

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Since Cicero, jurists have recognized that fraud is infinite in its variety. A half century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court observed in a securities fraud case: "It might be said of fraud that age cannot wither it, nor custom stale its infinite variety." Another court explained: "This is so because the mind of man is infinite in its contrivances."

Consequently, investment fraud includes a broad spectrum of conduct by institutions of all shapes and sizes: large and small public companies, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity firms, venture capital firms, broker-dealers and even municipalities to name a few. Over the past decade, new schemes have flourished:

  • Enron created Chewco so it could generate phony profits by doing business with itself.
  • Fannie Mae used “cookie jar accounting” to book ever increasing earning.
  •  Hedge funds used market timing and late trading to siphon billions from mutual fund investors.  
  • Big banks engineered financial products to fail when hedge funds paid the right price.
  • Corporate directors granted themselves backdated options and then concealed the practice from shareholders.
  • Bernard Madoff took an old fraud and reformulated it into the first global Ponzi scheme.
  • Feeder funds shut their eyes to Madoff’s scheme, but kept it alive by feeding it new money from trusting investors. 

Gary Aguirre is uniquely qualified to represent investors who have been harmed by fraud in any of its mutating forms. He has successfully represented individuals and institutions in private securities fraud cases in state and federal courts. As a Senior SEC Counsel he assisted with major securities fraud cases, including the Lucent and Fannie Mae cases. He has a track record as a trial Attorney that few in any field have matched (See Aguirre Bio).

Furthermore, Mr. Aguirre’s skills as a trial attorney are complemented by an academic background which distinguishes him from other lawyers who represent investors. He obtained an LL.M., a second law degree, focused on securities, financial regulation, and international law.  His articles on investor fraud have been published in both academic and professional journals: The Enron Decision: Closing the Fraud-Free Zone on Errant Gatekeepers, The Dodd-Frank Act: A FOIA Exemption for SEC Misconduct?, Section 10(b) Has Hatched a New Theory of Securities Fraud, But Will It Fly?  

Mr. Aguirre speaks at national and international conferences on specific securities law topics and also on securities fraud as a macro-dynamic undermining the integrity of the capital markets (see News & Events). For example, at the Sibos conference in 2008, one of the world’s largest banking conferences, Mr. Aguirre anchored a debate on the collective role of hedge funds as a cause of the financial crisis.


Mr. Aguirre primarily assists clients throughout California including San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, Kern and Orange Counties with investor and whistleblower claims involving banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds, brokers, and other financial institutions. He focuses on claims arising out of market abuse (e.g., market manipulation, high frequency trading, insider trading, naked shorting), investment fraud, bribes to foreign officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the filing of false claims under federal or California law (qui tam statutes). Mr. Aguirre may represent individuals and institutions pro hac vice (in a particular case) in most states, but must first obtain the approval of the forum court, which has been routinely granted in the past. He will also assist individuals from any state or country who seek an award from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under their whistleblower incentive programs.



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