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Hill v. SEC: Eleventh Circuit Buries District Court Challenges to the Constitutionality of SEC Enforcement Actions

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a district court cannot hear constitutional challenges to an ongoing administration enforcement action of the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Eleventh Circuit Joins Peers in Preserving SEC’s Home Court Advantage

After four failed attempts at persuading federal appellate courts to hear constitutional challenges to SEC administrative courts, it is increasingly clear that defendants in SEC in-house proceedings will not be able to pursue...more

The Whistle Blows Again: SEC Pays Second Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) awarded the second largest whistleblower bounty – $17 million – granted under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules to date. Previously, the highest whistleblower...more

11th Circuit Holds Judicial Review of SEC ALJs Premature

The Eleventh Circuit Friday joined three others in concluding that Congress intended Respondents must wait until appeal from the Commission to have a Court consider their challenges to the Constitutionality of the SEC’s...more

No federal court challenge to constitutionality of SEC’s use of administrative law judges before final SEC order, Second Circuit...

A recent decision by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit suggests that an attempt by a company or individual that is the target of a CFPB administrative enforcement action to bring a separate action in federal...more

The SEC’s Return to Accounting Fraud Enforcement

Just like the ups and downs of the business cycle, SEC enforcement of accounting fraud cases follow an up and down trend as well. For example, during the financial crisis, SEC enforcement of accounting fraud cases took a back...more

Second Circuit Halts Constitutional Challenge to SEC Administrative Proceedings

On June 1, the Second Circuit in Tilton et al. v. SEC, No. 15-2103 (2d. Cir. Jun. 1, 2016), echoed recent Seventh and D.C. Circuit decisions (respectively, Bebo v. SEC, No. 15-1511 (7th Cir. Aug. 24, 2015), cert. denied, 136...more

Weighted Scales of Justice in SEC Administrative Proceedings?

Since the 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been the subject of growing criticism regarding its increased use of administrative proceedings. By enacting Dodd-Frank,...more

SEC Opinion Examines Reasonable Belief and Accredited Investor Status

The SEC opinion In the Matter of Joseph P. Doxey examines compliance with Rule 506 in an alleged unlawful offering of stock totaling $57,654. The administrative law judge on summary disposition determined that Mr. Doxey...more

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court Declines to Address the Constitutionality of Securities and Exchange Administrative Forum

On March 28, 2016, the Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari review brought by Laurie Bebo, the former CEO of Assisted Living Concepts Inc., who challenged the constitutionality of proceedings conducted in an SEC...more

Preparing for the SEC’s Increased Pursuit of Compliance Officers

The SEC’s recent aggressive enforcement posture against chief compliance officers has raised many concerns, including whether the SEC’s actions are actually chilling robust compliance efforts. To protect themselves against...more

Full Court Pressure: SEC OIG Finds No Undue Influence By ALJs in Favor of Government

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently released findings from its extensive investigation into allegations of potential bias against respondents in SEC administrative...more

SEC OIG Cannot Substantiate ALJ Bias

In a January 21, 2016 Report of Investigation, the Inspector General for the Securities Exchange Commission found no evidence to substantiate allegations of pro-agency bias among SEC administrative law judges. The allegations...more

Mark Cuban Challenges the Referee: the Constitutionality of SEC In-House Courts

After the repeated challenges to the SEC’s in-house courts as previously reported, Mark Cuban joined the debate by filing an amicus curiae brief in support of petitioners Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc. and Raymond J. Lucia...more

In Flannery v. SEC, First Circuit Rebukes Commission, Signals Departure from Deferential Review

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in Flannery v. SEC that the Securities and Exchange Commission lacked substantial evidence in finding securities law violations by two executives in...more

Calculating SEC Civil Money Penalties: Do Hundreds of Related Acts Constitute a Single Course of Conduct or Hundreds of Separate...

In addition to going to court to seek sanctions, the Securities and Exchange Commission may impose civil money penalties in its own administrative proceedings on any person who violates, or causes a violation of, the federal...more

2015 Securities Law Developments

On balance, the securities litigation landscape in 2015 offered a glass half-full/glass half-empty perspective for issuers and their officers, directors and advisors. Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction...more

Recent SEC Actions Highlight Adviser Responsibilities With Respect to Performance Advertising

In a series of recent administrative proceedings, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has clarified its expectations regarding the use of performance data in investment adviser advertisements. Specifically,...more

SEC Judge Lenient Toward Compliance Employee

Previously, we described how some recent SEC officials’ enforcement actions and statements could suggest a movement toward holding chief compliance officers (CCOs) strictly responsible for legal violations their compliance...more

SEC Issues Proposed Changes to Administrative Proceedings

Amid controversy over its increased use of administrative proceedings to bring enforcement cases, the SEC has recently proposed several reforms. For instance, one change would ease the deadlines by which an initial decision...more

New EU Regulation on Securities Financing Transactions and Reuse of Collateral

Regulatory context - The regulation on transparency of securities financing transactions and of reuse (the “Regulation”) stems from a belief that the 2007-08 global financial crisis revealed excessive speculative...more

The Year in Review: Ten Trends in SEC Enforcement Actions

As 2015 winds down, we offer the following observations about 10 important trends in SEC enforcement actions. 1. Increased Number of Enforcement Actions - The number of SEC enforcement actions continues to grow. In FY 2015,...more

Revised Capital Markets Act: Amendments to Regulatory and Criminal Enforcement Provisions

The recently released revised consultation draft of the Capital Markets Act (CMA) for the proposed Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System (Cooperative System) includes changes to the proposed rules around regulatory...more

SEC Tees Up Newman & Admin Forum Issues for 2016

The SEC granted two petitions for review last week that tee-up significant issues for full Commission consideration late next Spring. The Commission will consider the application of the Second Circuit’s Newman decision...more

A 1,500-Day Ordeal: First Circuit Rebukes SEC for In-House Prosecution

Five years after the SEC brought charges that cost two fund executives their jobs, the U.S. First Circuit overturned the sanctions, chiding the SEC for misreading critical evidence, lacking substantial evidence for its...more

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