Cease and Desist Orders

News & Analysis as of

SEC Settles FCPA Charges Tied to Payments to Health Care Professionals

The SEC filed another settled action in which payments to health care professionals at state owned entities in China were alleged to be violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Although the company furnished extensive...more

What Would Dr. Seuss Say about an Allowance?

Earlier this month we had the release of a second book by Harper Lee, “Go Set a Watchman”, which was miraculously discovered having been written some 50+ years ago. This week, there was another release from a (now deceased)...more

California State Water Board Flexes Its Enforcement Muscle With Water Diverters

The fact that California is suffering its fourth year of drought conditions is not a new story — how the State should address this water shortage is the subject of much debate. The California State Water Resources Control...more

First Water Curtailment Action Filed in California

In the first of possibly many enforcement actions this year, the State Water Resource Control Board issued a draft cease-and-desist order against West Side Irrigation District in Tracy, Calif., demanding the District curb its...more

SEC's Warning — Fund Trustees Are Fair Game

In a cease-and-desist order entered on June 17, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found that a fund adviser, two independent trustees and an inside trustee willfully violated Section 15(c) of the Investment...more

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19422 - Awdziewicz v. Meriden Certain police officers retired, entitling them to pension benefits under the City Charter as previously modified in a separate lawsuit...more

SEC Sanctions Goldman Based on Market Access Rule

The SEC filed another action based on its market access rule. This time the Respondent is Goldman, Sachs & Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. In the Matter of Goldman, Sachs & Co., Adm. Proc. File...more

Federal Reserve Orders Community Bank to Improve its BSA/AML Program

On June 23, the Board of Governors announced the execution of an enforcement action against a California-based community bank over BSA/AML deficiencies. According to the Cease and Desist Order, the deficiencies were...more

Unregistered Broker Activity in EB-5 Capital Fund Raising SEC Imposes Cease-And-Desist Order

In an important development affecting the EB-5 financial community the SEC has imposed a cease-and-desist order with respect to fund raising activities conducted by two unregistered brokers and related persons in connection...more

SEC Halts “Smart Contract” Exchange Built on Silicon Valley Start-Ups

Two entrepreneurs wanted to create a business that centered on valuing private start-up companies. They experimented with models that began with a variation of “fantasy sports,” changed to a contest and became a game. It...more

SEC Files Settled Insider Trading Case As Administrative Proceeding

One question in the wake of the Second Circuit’s decision in Newman regarding the personal benefit test for illegal tipping has been how the SEC would respond to a decision the U.S. Attorney told the Court would significantly...more

Are your sponsorship and hospitality controls enough to satisfy the FCPA? Maybe not

On May 20, 2015, the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an administrative proceeding with global mining /commodities producer BHP Billiton, resolving allegations that the company violated the books and records...more

SEC Files Financial Fraud Actions, Mired In Controversy

In the wake of the market crisis and the formation of a task force, the SEC has sought to focus in part on financial fraud actions. The action filed at the close of last week against Computer Sciences Corporation and seven of...more

Not just a compliance program, but an effective compliance program: SEC, DOJ issue strong reminders

In recent days the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have issued strong messages reemphasizing the importance of effective corporate compliance programs. Assistant Attorney General Leslie...more

Economic Downturn Week, Part II – The Golden Gate Bridge and Employment Separation – Hotlines and Whistleblowers During Layoffs

I use the Golden Gate Bridge as an entrée to my continued discussion on the series on steps that you can use in your compliance program if you find yourself, your company or your industry in an economic downturn. Whether you...more

On the Oregon Trail: the BHP Enforcement Action and High-Risk Hospitality

The settlers who took off on this Great Emigration on the Oregon Trail did not have anything in the way of a road map. Fortunately for the modern day anti-corruption compliance practitioner, you do have road maps that can...more

Georgia Banking Regulator Revokes License of Pennsylvania Mortgage Lender

On April 13, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (Department) entered into a Consent Order (Order) with a Pennsylvania-based mortgage lender and its owners for failing to file a timely application with the state...more

SEC Targets Confidentiality Agreements That Stifle Whistle-Blowing

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its first enforcement action and settlement against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

"SEC Enforces Whistleblower Protection Rule Against Restrictive Confidentiality Agreement"

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action against a company for a restrictive provision in confidentiality agreements that could deter employees from using the...more

ITC Section 337 Update - March 2015

Commission Files Brief In 833 Investigation Appeal Regarding Digital Models Qualifying As “Articles” – On February 18, 2015, the International Trade Commission filed its brief in an appeal to the Federal Circuit of the...more

Crowdfunding Disclaimers Aren’t Adequate to Avoid Liability under U.S. Securities Laws

Warning to non-United States equity crowdfunding sites: it’s not enough to warn that offerings are not being made to United States residents. Your procedures must verify that investors are not United States residents. On...more

SEC Settlement with Layne Christensen Raises New Questions on the Government’s Understanding of the Business Nexus Element of the...

Last week the SEC settled charges against Layne Christensen for various violations of the FCPA. While a relatively unremarkable case at first glance, the SEC’s charges against Layne Christensen reflect a troubling approach by...more

Layne Christensen Settles SEC FCPA Probe

-- Negligible Evidence of Business Nexus Element May Explain DOJ Declination - Consenting to a October 27, 2014, Cease and Desist Order, the global water management, construction and drilling company Layne Christensen...more

SEC Charges Private Equity Fund Adviser with Misallocating Expenses between Portfolio Companies

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a cease and desist order on September 22, 2014 (Order) against private equity fund adviser Lincolnshire Management, Inc. (Lincolnshire). The Order alleged...more

ITC Issues Its First Stay of a CDO - In the matter of Certain Digital Models, Digital Data, and Treatment Plans for Use in Making...

For the first time the U.S. International Trade Commission (U.S. ITC) issued a stay of a cease and desist order (CDO) issued at the conclusion of an investigation under § 337 of the Tariff Act. In the matter of Certain...more

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