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Bank of America and U.S. Bank Reach Settlement With Investors

On August 18, Judge Katherine Forrest of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York terminated a pending motion for class certification in light of a settlement in principle reached between a class...more

RBS Settles MBS Claims with Assured

On August 14, RBS Securities reached a deal with Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. to settle a lawsuit alleging misrepresentations concerning the collateral underlying a US$291 million securitization. The complaint alleged...more

SEC Charges Colorado Woman and Her Two Companies with Offering Fraud

On August 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Heidi Ann Gamer and two companies under her control, Gamer Economic Systems, LLC and Gamer Media Partners Corp. The SEC alleged that between...more

Guaranty Bank RMBS Lawsuits Dismissed As Time-Barred

udge Sam Sparks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas granted judgment to defendants in two related cases filed by the FDIC on behalf Guaranty Bank (now defunct) arising out of Guaranty Bank’s...more

SEC Files Financial Fraud Action

Financial fraud is an enforcement priority of the SEC. A financial fraud task force was formed in July 2013. Its purpose is to focus on this traditional staple of enforcement. A data analysis group was formed at the same time...more

SEC Brings An Offering Fraud Action Against A Claimed App Maker

The SEC brought an action against a reputed “app” manufacturer who sold shares in two different entities beginning first in Colorado and later from Georgia. From each location, and for each entity, the sales pitch was...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review - August 18, 2014

FHFA Seeks Input on Single Security Structure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - On August 12, FHFA published a Request for Input on the proposed structure for a Single Security that would be issued and guaranteed by...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 15, 2014)

The Commission prevailed in two litigated actions. In one the agency secured a favorable jury verdict in an action centered on misrepresentations made by an investment adviser who sought to move his book of business to a new...more

SEC Prevails in Jury Trial Against IA and Principal

The Commission prevailed in another jury trial this week, securing a favorable verdict against a registered investment adviser, Sage Advisory Group, LLC, and its principal, Benjamin Grant. SEC v. Sage Advisory Group, LLC,...more

10th Circuit Relies On Earnings Release and Compliance with Regulation S-K to Reject Claim of Material Omissions in Public...

In United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 880 Pension Fund v. Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the complaint on a motion for summary...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Affecting Fiduciaries of ESOPs

In a recent decision, Fifth Third Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 189 L.Ed. 2d 457 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the “presumption of prudence” previously given to fiduciaries of employee-owned stock ownership plans (ESOPs)...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Securities Fraud Class Certification, Remands for Evidence to Rebut Presumption of Market Efficiency

In Local 703 v. Regions Financial Corp., No. 12:14168 (Aug. 6, 2014), the Eleventh Circuit reviewed the certification of a securities fraud class action brought by investors against Regions for allegedly misrepresenting its...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

SEC Prevails in Pump and Dump Trial

Following a four day jury trial the SEC prevailed, securing a favorable verdict on its claims against defendant Edward Hayter. See SEC Press Release (Aug. 8, 2014). The action centered on a microcap fraud, a key enforcement...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Fed Issues Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households - On August 7, the Fed provided a snapshot of the self-perceived financial and economic well-being of U.S. households and the issues they face, based on...more

SEC Can’t Pass On Pot Stock Puffery

Corporations facing federal securities suits can sometimes avoid liability by claiming that their forward-looking statements were so vague or indefinite that they could not have affected the company’s stock price and are...more

Supreme Court Sets New Standards for ERISA Stock-Drop Cases

In the Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer decision issued June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “Moench presumption”, a presumption of prudence for employer stock held in an ESOP or a 401(k) plan company...more

SEC Charges Corporate Officers with Fraud Arising from Failure to Disclose Internal Controls Issues and Alleged Misrepresentations...

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) advanced a novel theory of fraud against the former CEO (Marc Sherman) and CFO (Edward Cummings) of Quality Services Group, Inc. (“QSGI”), a Florida-based...more

Former Chief Operating Officer Settles SEC Fraud Claims

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that Peter Jenson, the former chief operating officer of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, agreed to pay a $200,000 civil penalty to resolve charges that he aided the...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

The United States Supreme Court clarified the duty of prudence that employee stock ownership plan fiduciaries owe to plan participants in its June 25, 2014 decision Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer 134 S.Ct. 2459 (U.S....more

A New Reality for ESOP Fiduciaries - Company Stock Investments for Employee Participants in Retirement Plans of Public and...

For the ESOP fiduciary of a publicly traded employer, the Supreme Court has made clear that non-public insider information is not required to be used in reaching a decision to buy, hold or sell employer securities....more

Omnicare Petitioners and the United States Battle Over the Scope of Liability for Registration Statements

The Petitioners in Omnicare, Inc. v. The Laborers District Council Construction, No. 13-435 came out swinging in their opening merits brief to the Supreme Court, which granted certiorari earlier this year. See Brief of...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 29

In this issue: - SEC Approves FINRA Rule Limiting Expungement - CFTC Issues No-Action Relief from Certain Ownership and Control Reporting Requirements - CFTC Releases Rule Enforcement Review of ICE...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Special "Presumption of Prudence" For Investment in Employer Stock

In the past, fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other defined contribution plans that invest in employer stock generally have been able to rely on a special “presumption of prudence” in court when...more

Hedge Funds and Material Nonpublic Information: The Role of Deception, Duty, Breach, Personal Benefit and Knowledge in Creating...

The last thing hedge funds need is another wake up call about the risks of liability for trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. But if they did, a July 17 article in the Wall Street Journal would provide it....more

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