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Second Circuit Clarifies a Heightened Standard for Insider Trading Convictions

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently held that, in order to convict a tippee for insider trading under Section 10(b) of the Securities Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, the government must prove beyond a...more

No Knowledge, No Jail: Second Circuit Clarifies Scope of Tippee Insider Trading Liability

On December 10, 2014, the Second Circuit issued an important decision (U.S. v. Newman, No. 13-1837, 2014 WL 6911278 (2d Cir. Dec. 10, 2014)) that will make it more difficult in that Circuit for prosecutors, and most likely...more

Knowledge of Benefit Required to Convict Insider Trading Tippees

In its important ruling on what the government must prove in a criminal insider trading prosecution, the Second Circuit reversed the convictions of two portfolio managers — throwing out their cases completely, with no new...more

Second Circuit Redefines “Personal Benefit” in Insider Trading Case

Breaking from precedent, the Second Circuit sets a new standard for the personal benefit element of insider trader liability. On December 10, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed...more

2nd Circuit Narrows Scope of Tippee Liability for Insider Trading

The US Second Circuit this Wednesday narrowed the scope of “tippee” liability for insider trading, rejecting the “doctrinal novelty” of recent government prosecution theories. In United State v. Newman, Nos. 13-1837-cr c/w...more

Second Circuit Clarifies Elements of Tippee Liability for Insider Trading

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently clarified the elements required to hold a tippee liable for insider trading: a tippee cannot be held liable unless the Government proves that the tippee knew both (i)...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC filed a series of actions in the last two weeks which included a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. One action focused on a Swiss investment firm giving advise in the U.S. without registering with the Commission....more

Friends and Family: Keeping Loved Ones Safe from Insider Trading Temptations

The holidays are in full swing, and now is the perfect time for executives to renew their determination to protect family and friends by not sharing work secrets with them, even indirectly or obliquely. Each year,...more

Caution: Aggressive Interpretation of Broker-Dealer Registration Provisions Could Be Hazardous to Your Ability to Stay out of...

Let’s do some compare and contrast, starting with a fairly unremarkable case the SEC filed in the Northern District of Texas on November 20th. In that action, the Commission sued the father-son duo of Paul and Jeffrey Downey...more

The SEC’s Carter’s, Inc. Investigation Yields Another Insider Trading Case

Carter’s, Inc. is the investigation that just keeps on generating cases. The investigation has yielded seven SEC actions charging insider trading and financial fraud. Hedge fund manager Stephen Slawson became the eight person...more

SEC – USAO Charge Trader In Analyst Insider Trading Case

Earlier this month the SEC brought an insider trading case against Zachary Zwerko, a financial analyst at a pharmaceutical company identified only as Pharma Co. SEC v. Zwerko, Civil Action No. CV 8181 (S.D.N.Y. Filed Oct. 10,...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission prevailed in three litigated decisions. The agency secured a favorable jury verdict in an action centered on an offering fraud. In two other cases — one based on misrepresentations regarding the only company...more

Corporate State of Mind in Securities Cases: The Sixth Circuit Blazes a New Trail

Analysis of the corporate mens rea is, by definition, contrived and one with which federal courts have struggled. Unlike instances where an individual is charged with securities fraud, determining the “thinking” or...more

SEC Comment Letters–A New Twist on Insider Trading?

A few days ago the New York Times reported a recent study by three professors at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkley that notes increased insider sales just prior to the EDGAR filing of...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission prevailed on summary judgment in an action against a broker which alleged he misappropriated client funds. The agency also filed actions centered on: an audit failure; the EB-5 immigration program; undisclosed...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Second Circuit upheld SEC Rule 10b-5-2 which defines certain types of relationships as the predicate for insider trading. In reaching its conclusion the Court rejected an argument that an insider trading claim must be...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 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

Microcap Fraud: An FBI Controlled Shell Company

Five men came together to plan the manipulation of an over-the-counter traded shell. What they did not know was that the shell was controlled by the FBI. SEC v. Affa, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-12959 (D. Mass. Filed July 11,...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 11, 2014)

The unblemished record of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office in insider trading cases came to an end this week with the acquittal of Rengan Rajaratnam, brother of the convicted Galleon Fund founder. This is the first loss...more

The Benefits of Cooperation

Enforcement officials frequently emphasize the benefits of cooperation. The cases involving former Credit Suisse Managing Director David Higgs illustrate the point. U. S. v. Higgs, 1:12-cr-00088 (S.D.N.Y. Plea February 1,...more

Notes From The 2114 Securities Law Conference

Courtesy of Professor Emmett Brown, I recently attended the 2114 Securities Law Conference and I must say that I was heartened by what I heard there and then. Here are some of my notes from the conference...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending June 20, 2014)

High speed trading and conflict of interest in the market place were the topics of the week. Two Senate committees held hearings on the issues which were the focus of the Michael Lewis book Flash Boys and its claim that the...more

Criminal Exposure for Securities Fraud Expanded in the Fourth Circuit, Rejecting Janus for Criminal Matters

Last month, in Prousalis v. Moore (May 7, 2014), a criminal securities fraud case, the Fourth Circuit held that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Rule 10b-5(b) in Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders...more

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Convictions in “Pump-and-Dump” Stock Fraud Scheme

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently upheld convictions for defendants who engaged in an illegal pump-and-dump stock manipulation scheme. Defendants, who participated with seven others in a conspiracy to...more

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