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There’s No Place Like Home: SEC Increasingly Uses Administrative Proceedings

Stung by adverse court rulings in some of its enforcement cases, the SEC is bringing more of those cases in its own forum—an SEC administrative proceeding. ...more

SEC Fines Virtual Currency Operator For Alleged Registration Violations

On December 8, the SEC fined a computer programmer $68,387.07 for operating two separate online exchanges that traded securities using virtual currency without registering the businesses as broker dealers. Further, the SEC...more

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation ..SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come ..The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection ..SEC Declines to Approve Non-Transparent...more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - December 2014 #2

In this issue: - Bank Prudential Regulation & Regulatory Capital - Bank Structure - Derivatives - Financial Market Infrastructure - Financial Services - People - Events...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

Three Principals of Adviser Settle SEC Charges Over Undisclosed Conflicts

The Commission filed another settled action based on undisclosed conflicts involving an investment adviser. In this proceeding Respondents, principals of the adviser, failed to disclose a fee splitting arrangement with an...more

Critics Question SEC’s Increasing Use of Administrative Enforcement Proceedings

The SEC is increasingly bringing enforcement actions in its administrative forum rather than federal district court, setting the stage for a legal and policy battle over this tactic. The SEC’s approach has been made...more

The Regulators Are Coming! The Regulators Are Coming!

Regulators, in-house lawyers and compliance officers told a serious cautionary tale at the recent Practicing Law Institute Broker-Dealer Regulation and Enforcement seminar. Representatives of the Securities and Exchange...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...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

The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection

On November 6, 2014, FINRA released results from a survey of U.S. investors measuring the demand for additional regulatory protections. The survey polled 1,000 adults and revealed that an overwhelming majority felt that it...more

Forex Probe Results in Fines, but Investigation Not Over Yet

The American Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced fines of $3.4 billion against five global banks on...more

SEC Files Another Insider Trading Case As An Administrative Action

The SEC continued what appears to be a growing trend of bringing insider trading cases as administrative proceedings. Since the beginning of September the Commission has filed at least four insider trading actions as...more

SEC Provides Relief to GSEC From Rule 204 Close-Out Requirements

On October 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets (Division) issued no-action relief to Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing (GSEC) relating to the close-out requirements of Rule 204. In...more

SEC Sanctions Auditor, Should Make Small Issuers Think Twice

The SEC brought a settled administrative action against an auditor on October 24th. Often I’ll take a case like this and write something about it to warn other auditors (or investment advisers or broker-dealers, or whomever)...more

SEC: Non-Transparent ETFs Not Ready for Prime Time

The SEC has given a preliminary thumbs-down to non-transparent exchange traded funds (ETFs). In two separate notices issued on October 21, 2014, the Commission stated that applications to allow actively managed ETFs to...more

Lights Out for a 401(k) Investment Fund? Don't Forget the Blackout Notice Rules.

One of your company’s 401(k) investment fund options is underperforming. Or, perhaps the fund is no longer appropriate for your employees. Or, perhaps a fund’s wildly successful fund manager has jumped ship to another fund...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - October 2014 #5

In this issue: - In preliminarily denying two exemption requests, the SEC takes a stand for market transparency in ETFs and upholds the arbitrage mechanism that allows market prices to closely track NAVs. -...more

SEC Charges Recidivist Adviser, Co-Founders With Violations of Custody Rule

The SEC has brought a number of custody rule cases as part of its broken windows initiative. Its newest proceeding centered on the custody rule, however, is a contested administrative proceeding which names as Respondents an...more

The RMBS Working Group: Is There Life After Eric Holder?

Financial institutions are asking what Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation means for the future of the U.S. Department of Justice’s financial fraud enforcement program generally, and the Residential Mortgage-Backed...more

There’s No Place Like Home: The Constitutionality of the SEC’s In-House Courts

Until recently, it was extremely rare for the SEC to bring enforcement actions against unregulated entities or persons in its administrative court rather than in federal court. However, as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act (and...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

SEC Issues Risk Alert, Smacks E*Trade on Penny Stock Sales

On October 9th the SEC brought a settled administrative action against E*Trade Securities and G1 Execution Services (formerly E*Trade Capital Markets) for their part in the unregistered sales of billions of shares of penny...more

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