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What is the Mississippi Securities Act?

The Mississippi Securities Act prohibits fraud in the offer or sale of securities and in the rendering of investment advice.

Under the Mississippi Securities Act, the Mississippi Secretary of State has been given broad discretion and power when it comes to enforcing the Act. This includes the power to:

  • issue cease and desist letters;
  • impose administrative penalties;
  • order restitution; and
  • order disgorgement of of profits.

The Mississippi Securities Act is supplemented by the rules are set out in the Mississippi Securities Act Rules which are promulgated by the Secretary of State.

Notification of an Enforcement Action

The Secretary of State may initiate an enforcement action against a corporation, limited liability company and/or its officers, directors and/or members.Typically, formal notification occurs with the sending of  a “Summary Cease and Desist Order and Notice of Intent to Impose Administrative Penalty.”

How to respond to an Enforcement Action?

If you are facing a securities enforcement action, you have a limited amount of time to contest the charges and request a formal hearing. Therefore, it is important for you to immediately retain an experienced lawyer to protect your interests.

  • Getting the right legal advice is critical in those situations where the alleged violations may expose you to potential civil and criminal liability.

As with most administrative actions, the playing field is not level. The Cease and Desist Order is usually issued without the accused being given the opportunity to challenge or dispute the findings. While you may request a formal hearing, the Secretary of State gets to pick the hearing officer. The Secretary of State even retains the right to accept or reject the hearing officer’s findings.

How do I file an appeal?

After the Secretary of State issues its final order, you have the right to file an appeal with the Hinds County Chancery Court.

More often than not, the best resolution can only be obtained when you exercise your right to appeal and aggressively fight the allegations. On appeal, the Chancery Court will reverse the Secretary of State’s final order if you prove that: (1) the order was not supported by substantial evidence; (2) the order was arbitrary or capricious; (3) the order was beyond the power of the Secretary of State to make; and/or (4) the order violated your statutory or constitutional rights.

After the Chancery Court makes its ruling in the case, the losing side may file an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court.

How can we help you?

We have successfully represented clients in securities enforcement actions at both the state and federal level. Our experience will enable us to effectively challenge all allegations against you.

Where appropriate, we will work with the government’s attorneys to resolve the allegations as quickly as possible. When that is not an option, we will aggressively fight the allegations.

In the event of an appeal, we will help you make a record that will give you the best chance of success.

Contact Us

To discuss how our legal team can help you in responding to any securities enforcement action or investigation, contact us online or call us at 601-957-3101.