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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

Rengan Rajaratnam Settlement Exposes Weak Point in SEC’s Newish Admissions Policy

You remember Rengan Rajaratnam, right? He broke the S.D.N.Y.’s long streak of insider trading victories when a jury acquitted him in July. I wondered what the effect on his case with the SEC would be. Would he settle? ...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

As the government fiscal year drew to a close, the SEC continued what appears to be an emerging trend of filing insider trading actions as administrative proceedings rather than civil injunctive actions in Federal Court. The...more

"SEC Judge Issues Initial Decision Regarding Chinese Affiliates of the Big Four Accounting Firms"

On January 22, 2014, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot (the ALJ) issued an initial decision censuring the Chinese accounting firms affiliated with Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP...more

Lenity, Chevron Deference And Consumer Protection Laws

Several federal statutes, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) permit the government to seek either civil or...more

United States of America v. Ross William Ulbricht

Federal indictment against Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht for narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, and money laundering

Full text copy of the federal indictment filed September 27, 2013 against Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht – aka Dread Pirate Roberts, DPR, and Silk Road – for narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, and money laundering (the...more

FinCEN: Accountant and Elder Abuse

We have been keeping track of FinCEN's SAR Activity Review – Trends, Tips & Issues virtually from its inception. In its just issued May 2013 report, FinCEN provides new information regarding two areas of importance: 1)...more

Select Broker-Dealer, Investment Adviser, and Investment Company Enforcement Cases and Developments: 2012 Year in Review

This Outline highlights key U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC" or the "Commission") and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") enforcement developments and cases regarding broker-dealers during...more

Should Wall Street Fear Mary Jo White? [Video]

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg Law) -- Mary Jo White has spent decades as both a federal prosecutor and later as outside counsel for many financial institutions. If the Senate confirms her as SEC chair, will Wall Street be facing a lawyer...more

The Financial Services Act 2012 – Misleading Statements, Impressions and Financial Promotions

Background - In our previous DechertOnPoints, The Draft Financial Services Bill in the Contextof the Proposed New UK Financial Regulatory Structure and Draft UK Financial Services Bill and the New UK Financial...more

The HSBC AML Settlement - Lessons Learned for the AML Compliance Practitioner

I recently wrote about banks behaving badly. Currently, Exhibit A in that list is HSBC. In December, 2012, the UK banking giant HSBC agreed to pay a fine of $1.92 billion for its transgressions involving money laundering....more

OCC Issues Alert On DDoS Cyber Attacks

On December 21, the OCC issued Alert 2012-16, which provides a general description of recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks directed at national banks and federal savings associations, along with risk mitigation...more

DOJ Announces LIBOR-Related Criminal Charges And Penalties, Regulators Announce Parallel Civil Enforcement Actions

On December 19, both federal law enforcement and U.S. and foreign regulatory authorities announced that a Japanese bank and its Swiss bank parent company agreed to pay more than $1.5 billion to resolve criminal and civil...more

U.S. Law Enforcement Authorities And Regulators Resolve Significant Money Laundering And Sanctions Investigations

On December 11, a major international bank holding company announced agreements with U.S. law enforcement authorities and federal bank regulators to end investigations into alleged inadequate compliance with anti-money...more

Is It the End of the (Compliance) World?

Today the Mayans predicted the world would end. I must say that I find the Mayans had a complete lack of courtesy, indeed if not foresight, as they did not identify the time the world would end and further did not specify if...more

Insider Dealing

On December 13, the FSA published a press release announcing that Thomas Ammann, a former investment banker and FSA Approved Person at Mizuho International plc, had been sentenced to 2 years and 8 months imprisonment for two...more

Bank Liability to Non-Customers in a Ponzi Scheme

The morning news reports flashes a report that your customer was actually a Ponzi scheme and defrauded numerous people. Of course, this is terrible news for the innocent victims, but, you ask yourself, could my bank be...more

Record Fines against HSBC for Repeated Bank Secrecy Act and OFAC Violations

Following on the heels of the $15 million settlement against First Bank of Delaware for significant Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering violations (as we reported on here), the Treasury Department and three federal...more

The FCPA Guidance And Voluntary Disclosures

The FCPA Guidance is an advertisement for the government’s voluntary disclosure program. DOJ and SEC repeat their message – if you voluntarily disclose, you will get a benefit. As demonstrated in the declinations, companies...more

Record $1.92 Billion in Fines and Penalties Levied against HSBC

HSBC Holdings, London, and two of its U.S. subsidiaries have been ordered to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines and penalties for anti-money laundering (AML) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) violations....more

Rising From The Dead: Anti-Corruption Enforcement In Canada

I find the so-called “vampire” cultural phenomena scary – I do not understand what is so entertaining about “ordinary” people who can suddenly turn into vampires, let alone enter into “serious” relationships with each other...more

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