Criminal Defense Attorney Securities Fraud - Updated
The main office is located in North Fort Lauderdale just off the Cypress Creek Road Interstate 95 exit. A separate location is in downtown Fort Lauderdale nearby the Broward County main courthouse.
In West Pam Beach the location is centrally situated in the center of the city with easy access to it from Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike.
In May 2013 in Cullman County, Alabama, James Leonard Craft entered a guilty plea in circuit court, before the Honorable Greg Nichols to one count, for illegally soliciting funds from investors relating to securities fraud in several counties in the State of Alabama. The crime is a class C felony. According to his criminal defense attorney, he is presently free on bond and awaiting sentencing while the court determines his ability to pay restitution to the victims of his crime.
It was revealed in the investigation that Craft and his Florida-based business, Century Lumber & Land had asked for funds from investors to supposedly buy products of wood design from South America. These goods were to be put up for resale to U.S. distribution centers to be used in the production of a variety of products including railroad cross ties.
Mr. Craft was a resident of Milton, Florida when his crimes were discovered. He was moved from a jail cell in Florida to face trial as the Alabama Securities Commission probed his actions
He was originally arrested for theft in Florida in 2011. His originally bond was set at $30,000.
He was indicted by a Grand Jury in Etowah County, as well as being indicted in Cullman and Shelby counties for the same types of crime where a cease and desist order was given to stop his attempts to solicit funds from investors in the three counties.
According to his criminal defense attorney, Mr. Craft admitted that he intended to use the money for personal reasons. Furthermore, records showed that Craft or any branch of his company was legally listed to transact any business dealing with securities as is mandatory by the law in Alabama.
A Securities Attorney who practices in Fort Lauderdale could most likely have cut a better deal for this individual based on his age and the severity of the charges.
Updated through 2017
James Leonard Craft was sentenced to a “split sentence” of a combined ten years for his conviction of crimes relating to securities fraud. The Circuit Court Judge overseeing the case divided the ten-year sentence into two parts; with a mandatory punishment of three years, and the balance of seven more years to be served if Mr. Craft cannot pay back the individuals he swindled by returning $185,000 in restitution to his victims.
If Craft fails to pay the restitution as ordered, he will serve the remainder of his sentence in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Craft was seventy-two years old at the time of his sentencing so basically his failure to submit restitution after the initial three-year portion of his punishment is served could likely become a life sentence.
Michael B. Cohen is an experienced securities fraud lawyer with years of involvement with cases of this type who previously worked for the federal government as an assistant federal prosecutor before he opened his private practice law firm to the general public.
If you've been charged with Securities Fraud or if an investigation is underway, please click here to find out what your next step should be or call Mr. Cohen directly at any of the phone numbers listed above.
Mr. Cohen’s entire list of qualifications can be found by clicking here.