When Plenty Isn’t Enough: Investment Banking and White Collar Crime

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

Investment bankers are some of the highest-paid professionals in the workforce. Typical compensation for new graduates in entry-level positions is more than $100,000 per year, and those at the top of the profession often earn more than $10 million annually. As a regular part of their job, investment bankers typically have access to what the law calls “material, non-public information” about upcoming corporate investments and company takeovers.

Sometimes the temptation to use or share this confidential information is too much, and investment bankers find themselves defendants in criminal cases, charged with insider trading, wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit any or all of these.

Insider Trading

Insider trading is an informal term for a violation of the federal securities laws that prohibit the use of “material, non-public information” for personal gain. Usually, the investment banker is not the one doing the trading, because most banks have controls in place to monitor the trades their professionals make. Instead, the banker will share information about a planned takeover or investment with others, who trade on that information before the general public has access to it, will make money on those trades, and then may kick back some money to the banker as part of the arrangement.

Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is crime that broadly covers any use of phone lines or any electronic communication (texts, e-mail, messaging apps) to defraud another. In the case of insider trading, wire fraud can happen a number of ways: communicating private information to others; exchanging messages about illegal stock trades; and moving investment funds or illegal profits back and forth among the participants in the insider trading scheme.

Money Laundering

Frequently, the participants in an insider trading scheme will attempt to hide the fact that they have made money off of the illegal trades, both to conceal the insider trading activity from others and to avoid paying taxes on the illegal profits. Money is transferred to friends, family, shell companies, and the like, which is considered money laundering: basically, any attempt to conceal the actual source or ownership of the illegal proceeds.


Investment bankers involved in insider trading schemes are frequently charged with conspiracy to violate federal securities laws or other federal laws. A conspiracy requires more than just an agreement to commit a crime, however; it also requires that there be two or more persons involved, and that there be some “overt act” in furtherance of the conspiracy, even if that overt act is not successful.

The Lento Law Firm Can Help

If you or someone you know has been charged with insider trading or any similar “white collar” crime, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have the experience and determination you need to help you with your case. Call Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or reach out through our contact form to learn more about how they can help you defend your case.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.