Securities litigation attorney speaks to Gilmer Rotary Club
Dec 11, 2014 | 3722 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gilmer attorney Chris Bebel, a former lawyer for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and onetime federal prosecutor who has made several appearances on national television, recounted some of his legal career’s memorable moments last week for the Gilmer Rotary Club.

Bebel, who specializes in securities litigation and has primarily worked security fraud cases, said he has given securities law lectures around the nation and in Canada and that he would cite “a couple of the interesting cases I’ve worked on.”

He worked in the SEC’s Divlsion of Enforcement and was an assistant United States attorney in Minnesota before joining the Gilmer firm of Tefteller Law, PLLC.

Recalling a bank robbery case, Bebel said “Bank tellers are the best witnesses out there.” In one case, he said, a bandit pointed a gun and told a teller, “Give me all the money in the till.”

The case report said the teller “just looked at him (the robber) for a second.” When the teller related to Bebel that he had nightmares over the incident, Bebel informed him, “You can say that to defend yourself.”

So when the teller was asked in court if he hadn’t seen the robber for only a second, the witness shouted, “I’ve seen him in my nightmares over and over. That’s (the defendant) him.”

As a result, “That defense attorney was shaking,” Bebel recalled.

On another occasion, while working for the securities and exchange commission, Bebel ran into a man who said, “Are you guys from the SEC? Glad to meet you.”

The man thought he was encountering representatives of the athletic Southeastern Conference, which is also called the SEC.

The attorney recalled another case in which a man with a master of business administration degree from the prestigious Wharton School of Business took control of penny stocks and would “bleed these companies dry.”

The man used shell companies to obscure the fact he was selling land to a corporation for $10 million after purchasing it for $1 million. In addition, bank records revealed that when a consultant was paid $20,000 monthly, $10,000 of it immediately was paid to the company founder.

Since this gaming company was publicly held, its practice constituted securities fraud, Bebel said. It routed trucks to places where Indian gaming wasn’t allowed, and committed wire fraud, he recalled.

Search warrants were executed across the country, and the guilty party went to prison, said Bebel.

But with some hard-core fraud, he said, “The government never does anything about it.”

Bebel also spoke of another situation called “life settlements,” in which the elderly can sell their life insurance policies and receive more than they would from the insurance company. If the person does not die within a projected time, however, investors must pay the premiums.

Someone agreed to pay the investors, but brokers were duped and in turn duped customers, Bebel said. He noted that he and another member of the Tefteller law firm, Jarom Tefteller, had just won a case in Lubbock involving such a situation.

“Prosecutors won’t touch this” and often, regulators will not either because they have “too much on a plate,” Bebel said.

Explaining how he ended up in Gilmer, Bebel said he met now-veteran Gilmer attorney Todd Tefteller in 1982 and came to Texas in 2010 for the “benefits of small-town life.

“I would spend most of my days working with attorneys in Saipan and Honolulu when I was in Gilmer,” Bebel said.

According to the law firm, Bebel holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center, William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

He has appeared on NBC, CBS and ABC news programs, as well as Fox News, National Public Radio and several other media. In addition, he has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers.
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