When it comes to corporate finance and stock market investing, many people can often get confused by the myriad of terms used when referring to activities. The confusion can be especially great when allegations of misconduct or illegal activities are made. In many cases, the line between what is legal and allowed under the law and what is illegal and not allowed under the law can be extremely thin and blurry.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation explains that one type of activity that may be identified as a form of corporate fraud is late trading, or late-day trading. This activity generally includes a mutual hedge fund. Some people might assume that, based on the term, late-day trading is any type of trade that happens late in the day. This may only be part of the full definition.
According to SoFi, market trades were historically allowed only during the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on business weekdays, when the stock market was officially open. In more recent years, trades have been allowed as early as 4:00 a.m. or as late as 8:00 p.m. ET on business weekdays due to the ability to facilitate such transactions electronically. These activities, referred to as after-hours trading or pre-market trading, may be completely legal.
What, then, makes a person face criminal charges for assertions of late-day trading activities? In these cases, a person is accused of making a stock trade, sale or purchase after the market has officially closed for the day and then subsequently amending documentation so as to make it appear that the activity took place during the stock market’s normal business hours.