General Business Securities Administrative Agency

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SEC Faces New Constitutional Challenge to Administrative Proceedings Based on Tenure Protection of Administrative Law Judges

In a complaint filed recently in the Southern District of New York, an activist investor and his investment advisor company have gone on the offensive against the SEC. Joseph Stillwell and Stillwell Value LLC filed a...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

Insider Trading Restrictions – Recent Decision by the Bureau de décision et de révision

On September 19, 2014, the Bureau de décision et de révision (BDR) granted a request by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) for an administrative penalty of $9,000 against Jacques Gauthier (Gauthier), who was President...more

SEC Insider Trading Cases as Administrative Proceedings – A New Trend?

Traditionally, the SEC has brought insider trading cases as civil injunctive actions. The recent emphasis on administrative proceedings, however, appears to be changing that. Earlier this week the agency brought an insider...more

What public companies and their Officers, Directors and Significant Shareholders should do about the SEC’s crackdown on the...

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced enforcement charges against 28 officers, directors and significant shareholders, including hedge funds and large financial institutions, for failing to...more

Barclays Is Sanctioned By The FCA and The SEC

Barclays took a double hit from regulators yesterday. First the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK fined Barclays Bank Plc, about £38 million for putting £16.5 billion of client assets at risk. Then the SEC imposed a $15...more

Liquidity Coverage Ratio Rule: Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Swim…and Regulators Gotta Regulate

With apologies to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, and in the afterglow of a relatively amiable final AB Rule, we are reminded this week that our business remains hogtied to a regulatory establishment that can’t seem to...more

SEC Charges Executive Officers with Fraud and Violations of Sarbanes-Oxley

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced enforcement actions against Marc Sherman and Edward Cummings, CEO and former CFO, respectively, of QSGI, Inc., a publicly traded computer...more

Wells Fargo Admits Violating Law, Pays SEC $5 Million Penalty

Wells Fargo was named by the Commission in a proceeding for failing to establish, maintain and enforce policies and procedures to prevent the misuse of inside information. The firm added to its difficulties during the...more

SEC Sued to Implement Resource Extraction Rules

On July 2, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC’s resource extraction rules which were mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. Since that time, industry players have asked the SEC to...more

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

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

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

The SEC Tackles Technicality

Within several months of Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White’s announcement in late 2013 of a commitment to improving the SEC’s trial readiness, the Commission suffered a number of losses in federal...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 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

Stacking the Deck: SEC’s Use of Administrative Proceedings

The SEC has a real perception problem. They cannot win in court. Whether this is fair or not, the SEC needs to move beyond this fear of losing since it only undermines the integrity of its enforcement program....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

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

When is a Consultant an Executive Officer? – SEC Brings Another Case

The SEC has instituted administrative proceedings against a registrant and others alleging that two individuals with prior law violations secretly controlled the operational and management decisions of the registrant while...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

The Second Circuit And The Separation Of Powers: Limiting Judicial Scrutiny Of SEC Settlements

On June 4, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a widely publicized 2011 decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, which rejected a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

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