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FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 124, The Oscars and Compliance, Part I with Jay Rosen [Video]

In this episode I begin a five-part series on the Oscars and Compliance with recovering Hollywood screenwriter Jay Rosen. In this Part I, we review the process by which films are nominated for the Oscars and the campaigns...more

Maine’s Crowdfunding Goes Live

On January 1, 2015, Maine’s crowdfunding rule went effective. Maine enacted 2014 P.L. Ch. 452 “An Act to Increase Funding for Start-ups” (referred to as Maine’s “crowdfunding law”) on March 2, 2014, but companies in Maine...more

2014 Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights

Mary Jo White was confirmed in April 2013 as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), becoming the first former United States Attorney to serve in that role. Given her background, and despite criticism...more

FINRA Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter

Earlier this week, FINRA published its annual priorities letter. Again, FINRA includes among the areas of concern private placements. FINRA cites particular issues relating to inadequate due diligence by broker-dealers in...more

Equity Crowdfunding - A new way to raise money.

So you have a great idea for a new business but don’t have the money to get it off the ground. Equity crowdfunding is now a popular way to draw attention (and potential funders) to startups. But is it the right choice for...more

Crowdfunding Coming to Minnesota

A group has announced plans to introduce a bill that would permit the use of advertising and general solicitation in securities offerings to Minnesota residents. The bill refers to such offerings as “MNvest Offerings”...more

Top 10 Legal Mistakes For Start-Ups

1. You Haven’t Lawyered Up. OK, that may be a little dramatic, but the worst case scenario is that you have a handshake deal with your co-founders. After all, we are all buds, this won’t go wrong. Even if it never goes...more

CFTC and SEC Propose Interpretation Concerning Forward Contracts with Embedded Volumetric Optionality

On November 13, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved for publication in the Federal Register a proposed interpretation clarifying the CFTC’s...more

Financial Industry Regulatory Update - December 2014

In this issue: - The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 - Proprietary Treading And Ring Fencing (EU) - Shadow Banking - Mobile Banking And Payments - Stress Testing And Asset...more

Condo hotels: Don’t forget the secret sauce!

Condo hotels are back in vogue as “securities” - Developers particularly like the “new model” where condo hotel investments are offered as a “securities” using the new SEC Rule 506(c) for private placements with public...more

Global Crowdfunding Site Consents to SEC Censure

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission censured Eureeca Capital SPC, an online, securities-based crowdfunding site incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for failing to implement procedures “reasonably designed” to...more

Look The Gift Horse In The Mouth (Or If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is)

Today is Giving Tuesday, and if your inbox is anything like mine, it is full of donation requests. I encourage you to support the causes that are near and dear to you. But there also may be others asking for your money...more

Non-Enforcement

When the U.S. Congress passed the crowdfunding exemption under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “Jobs Act”) in 2012, there was much anticipation and optimism for the ability of issuers of securities to be able to...more

A Closer Look at Regulation D: OfferBoard Finds Rule 506(c) Offerings Have Lowest Percentage of Funds Committed at Time of Filing;...

In “Equity Crowdfunding Under Title II of the JOBS Act: The First Year,” OfferBoard reveals many interesting findings regarding offerings under Regulation D. The white paper finds that offerings under Rule 506(c) of Reg. D...more

Posting Non-GAAP Financial Measures on Social Media

It is well documented that companies now use social media for all kinds of communications, including “traditional” SEC disclosures. As the scope of the social media disclosures continues to expand, some companies are starting...more

Tweet, Tweet: The SEC Gets Social

The SEC recently issued an investor alert to warn investors about potential fraudulent investment schemes involving popular social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, turning its eye towards investor fraud...more

An Instant Message from the CFTC: Preserve Communications – Enforcement Is Up!

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) released its annual enforcement review for 2014. The results—an impressive list of enforcement action success coupled with record fines. There were over $3.27 billion in...more

SEC Commissioners on Capital Formation

Recently, various SEC Commissioners, including Commissioner Stein and Commissioner Gallagher, have addressed issues related to capital formation in their public remarks. At a Los Angeles County Bar Association...more

Crowdfunding Disclaimers Aren’t Adequate to Avoid Liability under U.S. Securities Laws

Warning to non-United States equity crowdfunding sites: it’s not enough to warn that offerings are not being made to United States residents. Your procedures must verify that investors are not United States residents. On...more

SEC Scrutiny of Crowdinvesting Sites Not Registered as Broker-Dealers

On November 10, 2014, the SEC announced a settlement with Eureeca Capital SPC, which is a crowdinvesting portal incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Eureeca’s website seeks to match foreign-based issuers with investors...more

Crowd-funding Site Named In SEC Proceeding

Raising capital through crowd-funding is one of the key provisions of the JOBS Act. It is supposed to facilitate raising small amounts of capital for start-up operations. An off-shore crowd-funding site that sold unregistered...more

SEC Finds Crowdfunding Website a General Solicitation and Violated Broker-Dealer Rules

In a settled enforcement action, the SEC alleged the defendant failed to implement procedures reasonably designed to prevent U.S. persons from accessing and investing in securities through its crowdfunding website. The...more

Condo hotel revolution and resurgence: Why developers are using “new breed” of condo hotels for financing - One “little” legal...

We are now at a pivotal point for condo hotels. We are witnessing the complete turnaround in the way developers will structure condo hotel deals — particularly for high-end and luxury properties. This 180 degree turnaround in...more

Private Equity Websites and General Solicitations: A Case of Overzealous Hypersensitivity?

It’s a well-settled law of physics: for every action, there’s a reaction. In some cases, there’s overreaction – generally best avoided, but a phenomenon to which many private equity funds may have fallen victim. Here, we...more

Exempt Intrastate Offers: Advertising and Soliciting on Websites and Social Media

The SEC elaborates on how to utilize online general advertising and solicitation while complying with the requirements of the Rule 147 Exemption for Intrastate Offerings A recent Securities and Exchange Commission...more

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