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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

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

SEC Releases Results of Cybersecurity Examination Sweep

By Rochelle Emert and Phillip Caraballo-Garrison On February 3, 2015, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued a Risk Alert that summarized its findings about cybersecurity preparedness in...more

SEC Obtains $585 Million Judgment Against MRI International for Ponzi Scheme

A Nevada District Court granted the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for a $585 million judgment against MRI International, Inc. and its former CEO, Edwin Fujinaga, consisting of disgorgement, prejudgment interest...more

SEC Files SOX Claw-back Action

The Commission filed a settled administrative proceeding against two former CEOs of Saba Software, Inc. under the Sarbanes-Oxley claw back provisions. The action is based on the fact that the company has announced it will be...more

"Aggressive SEC Enforcement Approach Creates New Challenges for Resolving Investigations"

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursued aggressive enforcement of the securities laws in the past year. Several trends related to the SEC's vigorous approach are likely to continue in 2015....more

2014 Year-End Securities Litigation Enforcement Highlights

In This Issue: - I. Supreme Court Cases Review - II. Securities Law Cases - III. Insider Trading Cases - IV. Settlements - V. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases - VI. CFTC Cases and...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 5

In this issue: - SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies to Discuss “Accredited Investor” Definition - Glass Lewis Enhances its Pay-for-Performance and Equity Plan Models - SEC Issues New...more

Expediting Debt Tender and Exchange Offers

In late January, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued a no-action letter that significantly expedites non-investment grade debt security tender and exchange offers and eases certain other restrictions. With so...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

SEC Denies No-Action Request for “Publisher Exclusion” for Recommendations of Crowdfunded Investments

The SEC denied a no-action request that was submitted by Jonathon Hendricks. The no-action request inquired about a Wyoming based business that would make available a list of securities from a loan crowdfunding site that...more

CFTC Fines Summit Energy Services, Inc. for Violating CTA Registration Rules Under the Commodity Exchange Act

On January 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a settlement order requiring Summit Energy Services, Inc. (Summit Energy) to pay a $140,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered commodity...more

S&P Settles Market Crisis Actions With DOJ, States

The Department of Justice, in conjunction with 19 states and the District of Columbia, resolved market crisis era suits in a $1.375 billion settlement. The DOJ suit named as defendants rating agency Standard & Poor’s...more

SEC Settles Financial Fraud Action

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

SEC Announces First-Ever Enforcement Action Against Credit Ratings Agency

On January 21, the SEC announced a settlement with a credit rating agency in connection with its rating of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). The ratings agency agreed to pay the SEC more than $58 million...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC settled another action this week based on admissions of fact and that the Federal securities laws were filed, this time involving Oppenheimer. The action was based on the fact that the firm permitted an off-shore and...more

Oppenheimer Settles with SEC, FinCEN

Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. settled an action with the SEC centered on violations of the broker registration provisions, a failure to file suspicious activity reports or SARS and the sale of unregistered penny stock shares. The...more

SEC Files Prime Bank Fraud and Offering Fraud Actions as Administrative Proceedings

The trend of selecting administrative proceedings rather than Federal court by the SEC appears to be continuing. Since last September, for example, the SEC has filed at least seven insider trading cases as administrative...more

SEC & AGs Fine & Suspended S&P for MBS Rating Violations

The SEC and the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts this week fined Standard & Poor’s almost $77 million, suspended S&P from conduit-fusion CMBS ratings work for a year and imposed other undertakings, for...more

Standard & Poor’s Resolves Three SEC Actions, Makes Admissions

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services was named as a Respondent in three settled administrative proceedings by the SEC. Each is tied to the Rating Services’ role in the conduit/fusion Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities market...more

Third Circuit Defines “Extraterritorial” Applicability of Federal Securities Laws in United States v. Georgiou

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit added its voice yesterday to the ongoing judicial effort to construe the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, concerning the extent to...more

Bridging the Week - January 2015 #3

Cybersecurity, Potential Equity Order Routing Conflicts and AML Among the Top Examination Priorities for SEC in 2015 - The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations...more

House Passes Bill to Ease Volcker Rule and other Regulatory Requirements

The U.S. House of Representatives on January 14, 2015, voted (271-154) to pass H.R. 37, the “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act.” If enacted, the bill, among other things, would extend the Volcker...more

2014 Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights

Mary Jo White was confirmed in April 2013 as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), becoming the first former United States Attorney to serve in that role. Given her background, and despite criticism...more

Four Things to Know About the 2015 SEC OCIE Exam Priorities

On January 13, 2015, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued its Examination Priorities for 2015. Among the various priorities, these four issues stood out...more

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