Administrative Agency Securities Finance & Banking

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Investment Firm Fined $15 Million for Cherry Picking and Soft Dollar Schemes

An investment firm's plan to defraud clients out of $10.9 million landed it a $15 million penalty from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On top of the penalty, the firm must disgorge — or give up the profits...more

SEC’s Broken Window Enforcement Program Gets a Boost from “Quantitative Analytics” and “Algorithms”

The SEC announced last week that it had charged, in settled administrative proceedings, 28 individuals and investment firms that failed to “promptly report information about their holdings and transactions in company stock”...more

Global Financial Markets Insight

Change continues to be the main theme running through Summer 2014. There is the usual raft of new regulations to contend with but also welcome noises from policy makers including the European Central Bank and the Bank of...more

CFTC Removes Hurdle From JOBS Act Advertising

On September 9, 2014, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an exemptive letter [1] (the JOBS Act Exemptive Letter) for private fund managers relying...more

SEC Staff Grants Relief for Adjustment to Mutual Fund Subadvisory Fee Without Shareholder Approval

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (the “Staff”) granted no-action relief for the implementation of an adjustment in the fee paid by a mutual fund’s adviser to the fund’s subadviser, without shareholder...more

SEC Proceedings Against IAs Center On Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest are at the center of two administrative proceedings recently instituted by the SEC. One involved the failure to adequately disclose the conflict. The other focuses on a failure to institute appropriate...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

In the roll-up to the Labor Day weekend, the SEC issued new rules regarding asset backed securities and credit rating agencies. The Commission also announced a new pilot program on tick size....more

SEC Settles with Dually Registered Adviser Over Best Execution, Disclosure and Principal Transactions

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against an investment adviser, Dominick & Dominick LLC, a firm registered with the SEC both as an investment adviser and a broker-dealer (the “Adviser” or “D&D”), and Robert X....more

Judge Rakoff’s “Sour Grapes”: SEC v. Citigroup Settlement Approved

On August 5, 2014, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff reluctantly approved a$285 million settlement in the SEC’s enforcement action against Citigroup. In SEC v. Citigroup, the SEC alleged that after Citigroup realized in early...more

SEC Brings Another Bond Case Against A State

The SEC’s nationwide review of municipal bond disclosures yielded another enforcement action, this time against the state of Kanas. The Order centers on claims that the state failed to disclose its huge unfunded pension...more

SEC Commissioner Objects to Retroactive Application of Dodd-Frank Bars

Commissioner Gallagher recently filed this opinion dissenting in part with respect to In the Matter of John W. Lawton. The matter arose out of the alleged misconduct of respondent John W. Lawton, who purportedly committed...more

SEC Gives Itself the Home Court Advantage in an Accounting Fraud / Internal Controls Action Against a Corporate CEO

An otherwise mundane SEC announcement on July 30, 2014 of an enforcement action charging a public company CEO and CFO with accounting fraud and internal controls violations is significant because the SEC is proceeding against...more

U.S. Brokers Doing Business Overseas

Recently, regulators have made inquiries about the lawfulness of U.S. brokerage firms soliciting foreign clients. The regulators want to know under what exemptions or rules U.S. firms can do business overseas. This is a new...more

Second Circuit Overturns District Court’s Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement

In a closely-watched decision involving judicial review of agency settlements, the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s 2011 order rejecting a proposed...more

Patience is a Virtue: District Court Suggests that the SEC “Wait and See” Before Seeking Certain No-Admit, No-Deny Settlements

On June 18, 2014, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the SEC’s no-admit, no-deny consent decrees in its insider trading case against CR Intrinsic Investors, LLC and...more

Bitcoin Investment Vehicles Beware – The SEC is Watching

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged the co-owner of two Bitcoin-related websites for publicly offering shares in the ventures without registering the securities under the Securities Act of 1933 (the...more

Second Circuit Overturns Lower Court's Refusal to Approve SEC Settlement With Citigroup

In an eagerly anticipated decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the 2011 decision of Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejecting a proposed...more

Second Circuit Upholds "Neither Admit Nor Deny"

On June 4, 2014, the United States Circuit Court for the Second Circuit endorsed the Securities and Exchange Commission's practice of settling enforcement cases on a "neither admit nor deny" basis. In its order issued in SEC...more

Second Circuit Vacates Judge Rakoff’s Order Refusing to Approve Citigroup “Neither Admit Nor Deny” Settlement

On June 6, 2014, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Judge Rakoff’s order refusing to approve a settlement between the SEC and Citigroup in which Citigroup neither admitted nor denied the agency’s allegations. See SEC...more

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Prevails in the Second Circuit in Defending Its No-Admission Settlement Policy

The long legal battle over the SEC’s neither-admit-nor-deny settlement policy has finally come to an end. On June 4, 2014, the Second Circuit issued an opinion vacating the district court’s rejection of a proposed consent...more

Second Circuit Reverses SDNY In SEC-Citigroup Settlement Case

On June 4, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated and remanded a November 28, 2011 order from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York refusing to approve a...more

Second Circuit’s Citigroup Decision Protects SEC’s Discretion in Settling Enforcement Cases

Wednesday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Citigroup case is significant because it clarifies the standards for judicial review of consent decrees in SEC enforcement proceedings and...more

Second Circuit Says Pragmatism Trumps “Cold, Hard” Facts, Limits District Courts’ Powers in Reviewing SEC Settlements

Summer is coming, but this is probably not the vacation Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff had in mind. On June 4, 2014, the Second Circuit vacated Judge Rakoff’s order refusing to approve the SEC’s $285 million...more

Judge Rakoff Reversed by Second Circuit on SEC-Citi case, Still Sort of Wins

You’d be forgiven if you’d forgotten at this point, but way back in Obama’s first term, the SEC once investigated and sued Citigroup for its involvement in a collateralized debt obligation deal. As the SEC said in its...more

Consent Decrees, the District Court and the SEC: The Citigroup Decision

The Second Circuit handed down its long awaited opinion in SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., Nos. 11-5227-cv, 11-5375-cv and 11-5242-cv (2nd Cir. June 4, 2014). The decision arises out of the refusal of the District...more

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