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The psychology behind securities fraud for effective defense

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The chance of getting involved in securities fraud is closely linked to an individual’s psychology. Their reasons, justifications and the pressures they face can significantly shape their choices. This can manifest differently in a work setting, with a common example being the pressure to hit financial goals. This pressure can somehow push employees toward unlawful actions.

Understanding psychological influences

Individual psychology strongly influences financial crimes. Think about the unique motives that drive a person to commit a certain action. In the context of committing securities fraud, this may stem from the following:

  • Financial gain: The desire for wealth can drive some to cross ethical boundaries.
  • Pressure from superiors: The fear of failing or angering superiors can lead to unethical actions.
  • Perceived opportunity: A sense that one can take advantage of market fluctuations may justify the wrongdoing.
  • Financial stress: Struggling with financial issues can push individuals toward fraud.
  • Career advancement: The belief that committing fraud will secure one’s career can be a powerful motivator.

Uncovering why someone is inclined to commit fraud yields invaluable insights that can help the defense construct strategies.

How rationalization works

Rationalization is the mental process that allows individuals to find reasons or excuses for their behavior. This action makes it easier for them to engage in a crime, such as securities fraud.

For instance, a person on the verge of fraudulent behavior may convince themselves that they need to act to stabilize market fluctuations or correct imbalances. They may even downplay the harm they might cause or underestimate the consequences.

In essence, rationalization acts as that internal push that may potentially lead someone down the path of criminal conduct.

Creating an effective defense

Understanding the accused’s psychology in a securities fraud case is like a guiding compass for the defense strategy. It equips legal teams to build a strong case that aligns with the individual’s unique motivations.

For example, in a case driven by financial stress, an attorney could highlight the accused’s limited choices, which can help reveal the depth of their desperation.

On the flip side, if pressure from superiors is the catalyst, the defense can demonstrate how the accused was pushed into making unlawful choices. These insights steer the defense toward compelling arguments that align with the accused’s specific circumstances.

These psychological intricacies can establish a robust defense. It can help provide a fair opportunity for those accused of securities fraud to protect their rights and interests.