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Bank Settles Criminal Bank Secrecy Act and Civil Fraud Charges Arising from Its Inadequate Anti-Money Laundering Program

On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a $4.9 million settlement of criminal and civil charges against CommerceWest Bank (“CommerceWest” or the “Bank”) brought pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act...more

SEC Enforcement Division Outlines Focus for 2015

Action Item: Companies and individuals should continue to be mindful that the Enforcement Division will aggressively pursue securities fraud violations and will be increasing its personnel and technology resources to...more

DOJ Announces Two More ‘Operation Choke Point’ Settlements

With the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it had settled separate lawsuits against two small banks charged with facilitating consumer fraud through their relationships with third-party payment...more

Portfolio Manager in SEC Investigation Makes a Bad Day Worse

Portfolio manager Steven Hart made a difficult situation worse. He was under investigation by the SEC. That inquiry focused on whether he had made a series of matched trades. The investigation resulted in an SEC enforcement...more

New York Proposes Tough New Anti-Money Laundering and Cybersecurity Measures on Financial Services Companies

Action Item: Benjamin Lawsky, the Superintendent of Financial Services for New York State, one of the country’s most aggressive regulators, is seeking to increase regulatory pressures on the financial services industry,...more

FinCEN Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Andorran Bank as “Primary Money Laundering Concern”

On March 10, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) named Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA) a foreign financial institution of “primary money laundering concern,” a measure that will...more

OSC Affirms Breadth of Inter-Jurisdictional Enforcement Power, Limits on Sanctions in Conrad Black Case

The recent decision in Re Conrad M. Black et al. illustrates how the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will use its inter-jurisdictional enforcement authority to impose sanctions relating to conduct in other jurisdictions...more

PA Unclaimed Property Filings Due April 15: Legislative Changes Impact Reporting Requirements and Enforcement Powers

The deadline for filing a 2014 Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Report with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is April 15. Major changes were made to PA's Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act (the...more

FinCEN Targets Community Bank - $1.5 Million Penalty for Failure to File Suspicious Activity Reports

On February 27, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced a $1.5 million civil penalty against the First National Community Bank of Dunmore, Pennsylvania (“FNCB”), arising from FNCB’s admission that...more

Mind the Red Flags – FinCEN Issues Penalty for Failure to File SARs on Director’s Suspicious Activity

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently penalized First National Community Bank (FNCB) $1.5 million for failing to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) despite the existence of...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission recently filed an amicus brief defending its Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules. Those rules specify that the anti-retaliation provisions of those amendments to the Exchange Act protect those who chose not to...more

UK Home Affairs Committee – Evaluating the National Crime Agency

On 17 February, the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee published its report on the architecture of policing in the United Kingdom. This report follows a period of five years of restructuring and reshaping policing at the...more

SEC – NY AG Halt Fraudulent Investment Scheme

The SEC teamed last week with the New York AG to halt an on-going investment fund fraud run by a Pakistani citizen residing in New York. The SEC obtained a freeze order. The NY AG filed criminal charges and arrested the...more

DOJ and State AGs Announce Settlement with Credit Rating Agency

On February 3, the DOJ announced a settlement agreement with a large credit rating agency and its parent company for $1.375 billion – a record amount according to the DOJ – in connection with the agency’s alleged “scheme to...more

2014 Insider Trading Annual Review

Overview of Insider Training Law - “Insider trading” is an ambiguous and overinclusive term. Trading by insiders includes both legal and illegal conduct. The legal version occurs when certain corporate insiders –...more

"France's Double-Trial System for Market Abuses May Be Headed for Reform"

In 2015, the French double-trial system for market abuses will be referred to the Constitutional Council for an assessment of the system’s constitutionality under the double jeopardy rule (or, using the Latin maxim, the ne...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The DOJ’s settlement with S&P for $1.4 billion, coupled with admissions of fact, made headlines this week. The settlement was joined by 19 states and the District of Columbia. The DOJ and the states will essentially split the...more

DOJ Announces First FCPA Enforcement Action of 2015

Last week, the Department of Justice announced the first Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action of 2015, against Dmitrij Harder, the former owner and president of the Chestnut Consulting Group. The allegations are...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

FCPA enforcement was the focus this first week of the new year. The DOJ brought FCPA and Travel Act charges against an individual alleged to have repeatedly bribed an official of the European Bank of Reconstruction and...more

The Rule of Lenity: Should Courts Defer to Agency Interpretations of RESPA § 8?

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a case entitled Douglas F. Whitman v. United States. Whitman was seeking to have the Supreme Court review (and, hopefully, overturn)...more

A New Prosecutorial Frontier: SEC Seeks Bans on Municipal Officials

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) was recently granted a preliminary agreement by a federal judge to bar a municipal official from participating in future bond sales. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the...more

Justices Scalia and Thomas Amenable to Reexamining Deference to SEC Statutory Interpretations

Like Prince Charming searching for the foot that fit the glass slipper, Justice Scalia recently issued a statement advising that he and Justice Thomas would be receptive to granting certiorari to a petition properly...more

SEC’s Authority to Interpret the Securities Laws Comes Under Fire in Criminal Enforcement

A recent statement by Justice Antonin Scalia accompanying the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in a criminal insider trading case raises fundamental questions about how the courts interpret the federal securities laws and...more

Recent Key Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Regulatory and Law Enforcement Developments

In recent months, US federal and state regulators have continued to focus on Bitcoin and the adoption of a regulatory framework for it and other "virtual currencies," as well as the enforcement of existing securities laws to...more

Law Enforcement Bliss: The SEC As Policeman, Judge and Jury

New York’s Southern District Court Judge Jed Rakoff is always worth listening to. He expresses trenchant views about the rule of law elegantly and politely. He is fearlessly independent. Prosecutors in the US, who are...more

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