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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

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

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

SEC Charges Tipping Without A Newman – Dirks Personal Benefit

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is trying to have the Second Circuit’s decision in U.S. v. Newman, No. 13-1837, 13-1917 (2nd Cir. Decided December 10, 2014 ) reheard and reversed. In seeking that rehearing the...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Four SEC Commissioners addressed the annual SEC Speaks Conference, reviewing recent agency initiatives and tracing potential paths for the future. The SEC also brought another FCPA action, a misappropriation case and an...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

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

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission resolved its actions against the PRC based affiliates of five major accounting firms for failure to produce audit work papers. The settlement contains a series of procedures designed to facilitate production in...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

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

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

Alstom Joins Santa’s Naughty List – In a Very Big Way

The North Pole for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action announcements seems to have temporarily moved south for the month of December. Last week there was the final announcement of the long-standing Avon...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

Searching for Greener Pastures: SEC Insider Trading Enforcement in a Post-Newman Era

In United States v. Newman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dealt a substantial blow to federal prosecutors’ epic crackdown on insider trading by raising the bar for the government’s burden of proof in...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

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission brought a series of administrative proceedings this week and one civil injunctive action. The civil injunctive action was an insider trading case. The administrative proceedings centered on FCPA violations, the...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

Did the Summer Shine any Light on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Land?

The summer saw a significant new development in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower bounty program but failed to see any development on obtaining clarification as to the reach of the Dodd-Frank...more

Stacking the Deck: SEC’s Use of Administrative Proceedings

The SEC has a real perception problem. They cannot win in court. Whether this is fair or not, the SEC needs to move beyond this fear of losing since it only undermines the integrity of its enforcement program....more

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