The Florida Legislature has recently passed a law which imposes harsher penalties for those who sell unregistered securities. The bill, HB 777, was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on April 6, 2012. The bill will take effect July 1, 2012. As a result, the lowest permissible sentence for violations is increased.
The bill provides that all those who do not register securities offerings with the state's Office of Financial Regulation may be charged with a third-degree felony at a higher level than previously allowed. A third-degree felony in the state of Florida carries up to a five year prison sentence. Broker-dealers, appointed persons, and issuers of securities who do not register with the Office of Financial Regulation are also subject to the same penalty.