State's penalties for securities fraud increases

Gov. Mark Parkinson has signed legislation into law that will nearly triple the criminal penalties for securities law violations in Kansas.

Under the new law, prison sentences can be as much as 30 years.

Steve Wasson, the state's interim securities commissioner, said the new law was necessary to contend with an increasing number of cases in which losses have exceeded $1 million.

"Victims have long been frustrated by the relatively light sentences for securities fraud," said Rick Fleming, general counsel for the Kansas Securities Commissioner's office. "We are extremely pleased to see this crime punished more harshly."

The penalty level was bumped up for losses between $250,000 and $1 million and for those more than $1 million.

The increased penalties were passed during the recent legislative session.