Cease and Desist Orders

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SEC's Focus on Private Equity Firms Continues with Recent Action

A settled enforcement action, announced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 14, 2016, continues the trend of increased SEC scrutiny of private equity advisers concerning the allocation and...more

New Challenge to Daily Fantasy Sports in New York

A group of New York citizens backed by the anti-gambling group Stop Predatory Gambling has filed a lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo challenging the constitutionality of the bill that legalized daily fantasy...more

John Fogarty Rocks-Nu Skin Informs Oversight

I recently saw John Fogerty in concert. For those you are not aware, he was a founding member and the driving force behind Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), one of the very top American groups from the 1960s and early...more

To Settle with SEC Credit Suisse Makes Admissions, Pays $90 Million

Attracting new business is a key goal for any business. Enterprises which are successful in achieving this goal typically tout their results – nothing breeds success like success. Credit Suisse followed this model, disclosing...more

Hot News, Shredded Wheat and Wool Underwear: Brandeis On Copyright And Trademark

October 9 marks the 100th anniversary of Louis Brandeis’ first session as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (October 9, 1916 was the second Monday in October – in 1917, the Court began meeting on the first...more

This Cold Bud Is For You: SEC Sanctions Anheuser-Busch for “Chilling” Employee from Communicating with SEC

On September 28, 2016, the SEC announced that Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Dodd-Frank whistleblower violations. The SEC’s order stated that AB InBev violated...more

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Lessons in Joint Venture FCPA Compliance

Just in time for National Beveridge Day comes the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action involving Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), where the company paid $6 million to settle charges that it violated the FCPA and...more

NEW UPDATE: Is Your Workers’ Compensation Program Unlawful?

In two previous posts, on April 19, 2016 and June 21, 2016, we reported on the EquityComp workers’ compensation program offered by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Applied Underwriters (Applied) and California Insurance...more

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

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