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The Insider Trading Cartoon Series, Vol. XI -- Multi-level Tipping [Video]

In this Presidential transition season, we bring you a very special episode of the Insider Trading Cartoon Series....more

Spuds MacKenzie Runs into FCPA/Whistleblower Buzzsaw

Ha. I’m just kidding. I don’t think Spuds MacKenzie has been a thing for years. But his former patron, Anheuser-Busch InBev, ran into some FCPA problems last month, and tacked on a whistleblower charge for good measure....more

Don’t even think about violating that penny stock bar.

The penny stock world can be rough. So rough that breaking the rules in that corner of the securities markets ban bring its own kind of injunction, one that’s much more specific than the typical don’t-break-the-law-anymore...more

Custody rule examiners need to, you know, examine.

Here’s a thing I know: South Carolina doesn’t require vehicle inspections. Dumb, right? If your car is properly registered, you can drive it there all you want no matter how dangerous it is. Here’s a thing I think I know:...more

Rob Cohen Discusses SEC’s Analysis and Detection Center

One other interesting thing coming out of last Friday’s enforcement discussion at SEC Speaks (there weren’t many): Market Abuse Unit co-chief Rob Cohen’s mention of the SEC’s Analysis and Detection Center. First, though,...more

You Can Settle Your Insider Trading Case with a Negligence-based Charge

This is almost certainly not true anymore. But it was true once! Maybe only once. Back in October 1991, the SEC sued Shared Medical Systems, a Pennsylvania health care information services company and three of its officers...more

Vivek Ranadivé and Wisconsin IA Both Big into Cherrypicking, According to Sources

Here’s a thing I think I know about billionaires: They’ve made piles and piles of money doing something someone somewhere surely advised them not to do because it was a dumb idea. Then later, actually dumb ideas come along...more

Why Did BHP Billiton Settle an FCPA Case Including 7+ Year-Old Conduct?

Remember the Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? BHP Billiton has probably had reason to think about it recently. On Wednesday it settled an FCPA case with the SEC arising out of the company’s sponsoring the...more

The SEC Doesn’t Love Secret Perks for Executives

If you find yourself as the CEO of a public company, you’ll probably find pluses and minuses. You’ll have to work really hard, but it can be lucrative, too. You can get paid a lot of money. And your company can pay you...more

Two Regulatory Crises

It strikes me that two civil regulators are facing dire attacks on aspects of their enforcement programs – both in different U.S. Courts of Appeals – at the same time. Both of these attacks arise out of generalized statutes...more

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

One Good Thing and One Bad Thing about SEC Administrative Proceedings

One of my favorite lines from my kids’ books involves a cat named Pickles who’s having something of an identity crisis. Pickles doesn’t really have an owner, but does have a temporary caretaker, who tells him, “Pickles,...more

The SEC Totally Cares about Its Injunctions

Last week I wrote a post discussing the injunctions the SEC typically obtains against defendants in federal court. I noted the oddity of these obey-the-law injunctions and wondered aloud why the Commission never pursues...more

The SEC Does Not Care about Its Injunctions

It won’t surprise you to learn that the U.S. Code includes this provision: “A court of the United States shall have power to punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, at its discretion, such contempt of its authority . . . as...more

Justice Department Files First FCPA Case of 2015, Reminds Lawyers to Watch Out

Last week, the Justice Department filed the first FCPA case of 2015 when it indicted Dmitrij Harder, the former owner and president the Chestnut Consulting Group in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. ...more

Does SEC Enforcement Treat Bigger Companies Differently?

I’m stealing the title of this post from Broc Romanek, who asked this question on January 2nd. He was responding to a study authored by Jonas Heese, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who has authored a study...more

Proposed “Fair Fund” for CR Intrinsic Case Stirs Dustup among SEC’s Commissioners

In the right kind of enforcement action, the SEC can take the money it’s generated and set up what’s called a Fair Fund to redistribute that money to harmed investors. But what is the right kind of case? This procedure was...more

SEC Issues Risk Alert, Smacks E*Trade on Penny Stock Sales

On October 9th the SEC brought a settled administrative action against E*Trade Securities and G1 Execution Services (formerly E*Trade Capital Markets) for their part in the unregistered sales of billions of shares of penny...more

Wrapping up Securities Enforcement Forum 2014

I was lucky enough to spend Tuesday at Bruce Carton’s Securities Enforcement Forum 2014. In three years, it has gone from zero to the preeminent securities enforcement law conference anywhere. I blogged it hurriedly...more

Securities Enforcement Forum 2014 — FCPA, SEC/DOJ Joint Actions, and Other Recent Criminalization Trends

Today I’m blogging from Securities Enforcement Forum 2014, Bruce Carton’s excellent one-day conference, this year being held at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington, D.C. The posts will be fairly raw, and certainly not...more

Securities Enforcement Forum 2014 — Morning Keynote Speech by Commissioner Piwowar

Today I’m blogging from Securities Enforcement Forum 2014, Bruce Carton’s excellent one-day conference, this year being held at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington, D.C. The posts will be fairly raw, and certainly not...more

Ghost of David Sokol Haunts SEC’s Insider Trading Case against Szymik and Peixoto

It never actually became a case, but maybe you remember this matter from a few years ago. In January 2011, former Berkshire Hathaway executive David Sokol bought about 100,000 shares in Lubrizol Corporation shortly before...more

Speech by DOJ’s Marshall Miller Could Be Harbinger of Bad Things to Come

So here’s a thing. Last week Marshall Miller, the No. 2 official in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, made a speech urging corporations to focus its investigations into misconduct on individual malefactors and...more

Freedom to Retaliate against Foreign Whistleblowers May Not Be as Much Fun as It First Appears

What I’m about to say is grossly oversimplified, but here goes: The Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions have two primary prongs. The first says that an individual who voluntarily provides the SEC with original...more

Guns and More Guns: SEC Hits Smith & Wesson for FCPA Violations

One thing the SEC likes to do is bring cases with a lot of deterrent value. That is, cases that it hopes will scare other people and companies into complying with the law. Often that means cases with large price tags...more

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