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Happy Birthday Dodd-Frank: The Whistleblower Program Milestones and How They’ve Impacted Business Ethics Training

Did you have some cake? Break out the balloons? While it’s hard to believe, it is true. Our little Dodd-Frank, signed into law by President Obama in 2010, is already four years old and about ready for pre-school. Although we...more

Can You Hear the Whistle Blowing?: SEC Punishes Company that Did Not Address Fraud Allegations by Whistleblower

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the latest whistleblower bounty awarded under the Dodd-Frank Act, which authorizes rewards for original information about violations of securities laws....more

Judge Rakoff Approves SEC’s $285M Settlement With Citigroup

On remand following a Second Circuit decision vacating his June 2011 rejection of a settlement between Citigroup and the SEC, Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York approved the settlement, finding that it met...more

Last Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 8, 2014)

Last week the SEC brought an action this centered on hidden fees and a series of actions centered on microcap fraud and investment fund fraud. A pump and dump actions was filed centered on the manipulation of six different...more

SEC Waives Whistleblower Eligibility Requirements to Issue $400,000 Award

On July 31, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a $400,000 whistleblower award to an individual who provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The SEC’s...more

Private Equity Fund Charged by SEC with Violation of the Pay-to-Play Rules for Investment Advisors

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") recently announced that it had charged TL Ventures, a Philadelphia-area private equity firm (the "Firm") with the first ever case involving a violation of the "pay-to-play...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

On a Roll: The SEC Continues to Deliver on its Promise to Seek Admissions of Wrongdoing

The SEC announced last week that it has obtained yet another admission of wrongdoing in connection with an agreement to settle an SEC enforcement action. This time, Peter A. Jenson, the former COO of Harbinger Capital...more

Citigroup To Pay $7 Billion To Settle Mortgage Claims

To settle charges related to the packaging, marketing, sale, and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), Citigroup will pay a total of $7 billion, including a record $4 billion fine to the Department of...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 1, 2014)

The Commission continued to focus on the markets this week, brining another action involving the operation of a partially dark pool. The ECN operator was a subsidiary of Citigroup. The SEC alleged that confidential customer...more

Morgan Stanley Settles RMBS Charges with SEC

On July 24, the SEC announced that it had charged three Morgan Stanley entities with misleading investors with regard to two RMBS securitizations that the firms underwrote, sponsored and issued and that the firm agreed to...more

SEC Settles Third-Party Insider Trading Claim Against Investor Relations Executive

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced a settlement with a partner at an investor relations firm who allegedly traded on inside information obtained through his representation of two companies. ...more

SEC Denies Whistleblower Award Claim for Harbinger-Falcone Recovery

As recently reported by Ed Benson of Law 360, on July 4th, 2014, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) issued a final order that denied a whistleblower award claim on the $18 million...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule To Prohibit Conditioning Customer Settlements On Expungement

On July 23, FINRA announced that the SEC approved a new rule prohibiting FINRA-supervised firms and registered representatives from conditioning settlement of a customer dispute on—or otherwise compensating a customer for...more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Limiting Expungement

On July 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission authorized the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. to implement FINRA Rule 2081 prohibiting brokers from conditioning settlement of customer complaints on (or...more

SEC Approves Amended FINRA Rule 2081 Prohibiting Settlements Conditioned on Expungement

On July 22, the SEC approved amendments to FINRA Rule 2081 that prohibit member firms from conditioning arbitration settlements (or seeking to) upon a customer’s assent to CRD expungement relief. The Rule amendments prohibit...more

Citigroup Settles with DOJ for $7 Billion

Citigroup announced last week that it will pay $7 billion to end an investigation by the U.S Department of Justice into misconduct related to its mortgage securitization practices. The blockbuster settlement came days before...more

SEC Efforts To Compel SIPIC Coverage For Stanford Victims Rejected

The D.C. Circuit rejected efforts by the SEC to compel the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to liquidate a broker-dealer that was part of the Stanford Ponzi scheme empire. The investors had purchased CDs from an...more

What Should the Trustee of a Private ESOP Do?

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently entered into an agreement with GreatBanc Trust Company settling claims relating to its service as trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) holding stock of a private company....more

Second Circuit Doubles Down on Rule Preventing Non-Settling Parties from Objecting to Class Settlement

The robustness of the rule preventing non-settling defendants from objecting to a class settlement has received a boost from the Second Circuit. The class settlement at issue involved the claims of investors against a hedge...more

DOL Settlement Is a Cautionary Tale for ESOP Trustees

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently settled a case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that provides guidance but also a warning for trustees and employers contemplating ESOP transactions that later go awry....more

SEC Prevails in Eleventh Circuit

The SEC prevailed in an appeal of a financial fraud action. SEC v. Monterosso, Nos. 13-10341, 13-10342, 13-10464 (11th Cir. Opinion June 30, 2014). A key issue in the case is the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in...more

When Applying to Certify a Class Action, Don’t Forget Causation and Damages

The Court of Appeal of Alberta recently re-affirmed the need for carefully drafted pleadings and a thorough application record at a certification application, particularly where class-wide causation and class-wide damages are...more

Laidler v. Hesco Bastion Environmental, Inc., C.A. No. 7561-VCG (Del. Ch. May 12, 2014) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery determined the fair value of the petitioner’s stock in a statutory appraisal proceeding arising from the short-form merger of Hesco Bastion USA, Inc. (the “Company”) into the...more

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser with Whistleblower Retaliation under Dodd-Frank

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

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