Cease and Desist Orders

News & Analysis as of

The Ping FCPA Enforcement Action: Lessons for the Compliance Practitioner

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action against an individual earlier this month when it announced the resolution of a matter involving Jun Ping Zhang,...more

SEC Charges EY in First Auditor Independence Actions Based on Personal Relationships

The SEC has long stressed auditor independence. The agency has brought a series of cases over the years to reinforce the point. Two settled actions involving accounting giant Ernst & Young LLP and others are the first,...more

OSHA Joins the SEC in Attacking Confidentiality and Other Provisions in Private Settlement Agreements

On September 15, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new policy guidelines for its review of private settlement agreements presented to the agency for approval in whistleblowing...more

SEC Prevails in Securities Law Action Against City of Miami

In the first federal jury trial against a municipality for securities law violations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 14, 2016 successfully obtained a verdict against the City of Miami and a...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 9

Updating Unregistered Structured Note Programs: How Frequently? - For some types of securities offering programs, we have “black letter law” that instructs issuers how frequently the program documentation should be...more

Tennessee Securities Division Ramps Up Enforcement

The Securities Division of Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Industry has increased its enforcement activity during 2016. The recent actions include: Final Administrative Orders: Clifton Alexander and HugeROI.com...more

SEC Sanctions 71 Municipal Issuers for Misstatements

On August 24, the SEC announced settled administrative actions against 71 state and local issuers arising from $3.7 trillion in municipal securities offerings.  The Commission alleged the issuers made false statements...more

FTC Complaint Counsels Caution When Settling Disputes With Competitors

The Federal Trade Commission recently sued 1-800 Contacts, Inc., the largest contact lens retailer in the United States, charging it with restraining competition in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act,...more

You May Not Stack the Deck: SEC Announces Penalties Against Companies Requiring Employees to Waive Whistleblower Protections to...

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced that two companies agreed to pay penalties of more than $500,000, combined, for illegally requiring employees to waive their rights to monetary awards from the...more

SEC Finds Certain Separation Agreement Provisions Unlawful Under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Rule

Twice in the past two weeks, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) issued a cease-and-desist order settling proceedings against companies for using confidentiality and waiver of claims provisions in...more

SEC Settlements Put Severance Agreements Under Increased Scrutiny

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced settlements with two companies for using severance agreements that allegedly violated Rule 21F-17. Rule 21F-17 provides that “[n]o person may take any action...more

Key Energy FCPA Resolution – Part III

This week I have been exploring the Key Energy, Inc. (Key Energy) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action. Today, I want to consider the actions taken by Key Energy to obtain the very good resolution the...more

SEC Enforcement Expands Scope of Prohibited Provisions in Employment-Related Agreements

Summary - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts will discourage...more

Farewell to R2D2 and Key Energy FCPA Resolution – Part II

Yesterday I began a what I thought would be a two-part series on the Key Energy, Inc. (Key Energy) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action. However (and as usual), I got carried away so today I will review the...more

Farewell to John Saunders and Welcome to Key Energy FCPA Resolution – Part I

John Saunders died last week. He was a reporter at ESPN and the host of the Sunday talking heads show, the Sports Reporters. The tributes for Saunders came from far and wide. By all accounts, he was one of the most beloved...more

Severance Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Provisions

The SEC has a robust whistleblower program which is considered an important adjunct to its enforcement efforts. To that end the Commission has participated in whistleblower cases as an amicus and brought actions regarding...more

Three Key Questions to Ask in Hiring of Family Members of Foreign Officials

One of the top academic commentators in the anti-corruption space is Matthew C. Stephenson, co-founder of the Global Anticorruption Blog. I was intrigued by Stephenson’s piece, entitled “Does an FCPA Violation Require a Quid...more

SEC Settles Insider Trading Action With Corporate Controller

The Commission filed another settled insider trading action. The case centered on a tender offer by Koch Industries, Inc. for Oplink Communications, Inc., announced before the market opened on November 19, 2014. Following the...more

SEC Resolves FCPA Action With LAN Airlines

The SEC resolved another FCPA action centered on the entry of LAN Airlines S.A. into Argentina. Previously, the Commission settled with the CEO of the company who agreed to the entry of a cease and desist order based on...more

LATAM/LAN FCPA Enforcement Action, Part I-Some Questions

What is the cost of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violation? One subset of that question is what is the cost of not cooperating and not remediating during the pendency of such investigations? Those were two of the...more

SEC – Phoenix Settle Accounting Errors Action

Financial reporting cases are a key focus of SEC enforcement. In some instances the actions result from fraudulent schemes such as those where executives falsify the numbers to obtain a bonus. In other instances the actions...more

SEC Requires Admissions To Settle Another Blue Sheet Case

Blue sheets are an important tool for the SEC. Named for the fact that the form at one time was printed on blue paper, the information request requires the immediate production of key information regarding a securities...more

Compliance, Cooperation Mitigates FCPA Liability with DOJ-SEC

Well designed compliance systems coupled with solid internal controls can be instrumental in preventing violations of the FCPA. Despite best of efforts, there is no doubt that even a well-constructed compliance system can be...more

SEC Applies Advisers Act Provisions to Nonadvisor Fund Service Providers

The SEC continues to expand the scope of responsibilities and standards applicable to gatekeepers. In an application of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act) to the actions of a nonadviser fund service...more

SEC’s First Action Based On Dodd-Frank Muni Adviser Fraud Section

The SEC has been focusing on municipal bond offerings, filing a series of enforcement actions. An action brought this week is the first, however, based on the Dodd-Frank fraud section related to municipal advisers. The action...more

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