Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

Second Circuit Doubles Down on Rule Preventing Non-Settling Parties from Objecting to Class Settlement

The robustness of the rule preventing non-settling defendants from objecting to a class settlement has received a boost from the Second Circuit. The class settlement at issue involved the claims of investors against a hedge...more

STOA Schemes Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

Increased SEC and Justice Department prosecution is bad news for stranger-originated annuity (STOA) schemes. The SEC recently announced that enforcement actions were taken against brokers Michael A. Horowitz of California and...more

Two Observations From the SEC’s First Settlement Under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

Just yesterday, the SEC announced its first settlement pursuant to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. ... Here are two observations on this settlement that could shed some light on...more

Sanctions Round-Up: Second Quarter 2014

In this issue: - US Authorities End Quarter Full of Enforcement Actions with $8.9 Billion BNP Settlement - US and EU Make Numerous Ukraine-Related Designations as Separatist Aggression Continues - US...more

Second Circuit Overturns District Court’s Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement

In a closely-watched decision involving judicial review of agency settlements, the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s 2011 order rejecting a proposed...more

Digital Commerce & Payments Update

In this Issue: - Insights & Trends ..The Future of Regulation in the Digital Economy - Virtual Currency ..GAO Urges CFPB Participation In Virtual Currency Working Groups ..Trade Group White Paper...more

Hostile Work Environment Case Gets Additional Fourth Circuit Scrutiny

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to an en banc rehearing (in which all judges on the court will hear the case) of Boyer-Liberto v. Fountainebleau Corp. after a three-judge panel of the court ruled in May 2014...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Resolve Current Appellate Court Split on EEOC’s Conciliation Obligations

In December 2013, we reported on the Seventh Circuit’s controversial decision in EEOC v. Mach Mining, in which the Court exacerbated the already existing split amongst federal appellate courts regarding the EEOC’s obligation...more

Watch Out: Your Competitors Can Now Make You the Target of a CFPB Investigation

Throughout its short history, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has asserted jurisdiction over various nontraditional consumer-related financial industries, from law firms to collection agencies and automobile...more

SEC Settles with Hedge Fund Adviser over Principal Transactions and Retaliation Against Whistleblower

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against an investment adviser, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (the “Adviser”), and Candace King Weir, the Adviser’s principal owner (the “Principal”), over violations of the...more

SEC Settles FCPA Action On The Eve of Trial

The SEC was about to try its first FCPA case. Then the Commission settled, agreeing to drop the bribery charges as well as its demand for monetary sanctions. That ended the case against two Nobel Corporation executives SEC v....more

Parallel Government Actions Against Bank of America May Proceed

On June 19, Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina issued Orders in two parallel actions by the DOJ and SEC against Bank of America, previously covered in the August 12, 2013 and April 7, 2014...more

New HIPAA Reports to Congress Shed Light on OCR Enforcement

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued two reports to Congress, as required by the HITECH Act. The compliance report details OCR’s enforcement activities for 2011 and 2012 and...more

Hart-Scott-Rodino 2013 Annual Report: Filings Decreased, Transactions Investigated Increased and Enforcement Continues for...

On May 21, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice published the Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report Fiscal Year 2013 (for the period from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013). The Annual Report...more

Supreme Court Provides Standard for Evidentiary Hearing in IRS Summons Enforcement Proceeding

On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that taxpayers have a right to an evidentiary hearing in an IRS summons enforcement action when the taxpayer “offers some credible evidence supporting his charge” of...more

EEOC Sues Bliss Cabaret for Race Discrimination and Retaliation

Clearwater Adult Club Fired Manager for Opposing Owner's Racially Discriminatory Practice, Federal Agency Charges - TAMPA, Fla - A Clearwater, Fla., adult entertainment club violated federal law by racially...more

SEC Enforces First-Ever Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently entered into a $2.2 million settlement agreement with Paradigm Capital Management Inc. and its owner Candace King Weir, in its first-ever action enforcing whistleblower...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 3, 2014)

In a holiday shortened week, dark pools were again a focus for regulators. This week FINRA sanctioned Goldman Sachs in connection with the operation of its dark pool....more

SEC Cooperation Agreements: With the Right Approach, Potentially a Valuable Tool for Those Facing Sanctions

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck attorneys recently worked with staff in the Denver Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to negotiate both a proffer agreement and a cooperation agreement on...more

FTC Releases 2014 Privacy and Data Security Update, Touting Its Efforts and Achievements in Protecting Consumer Privacy

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its 2014 Privacy and Data Security Update, summarizing the FTC’s major enforcement actions, policy initiatives, rules, reports, workshops, and outreach efforts in the...more

The Danger of Retaliating Against Whistleblowers

Every company claims that they encourage a “speak up” culture. As part of a “speak up” culture, companies encourage managers and employees to raise concerns about potential violations and promise not to retaliate against...more

BNP Paribas Agrees to Record Penalty for Violating US Sanctions Laws

On June 30, 2014, BNP Paribas SA (“BNPP”), the largest bank in France, pled guilty to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions laws and agreed to pay a total of nearly $8.9 billion in criminal forfeiture and penalties to the U.S....more

SEC Brings First Whistleblower Retaliation Enforcement Action

In announcing its first enforcement action for retaliating against a whistleblower, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sends a strong message to firms: it is serious about bringing charges against companies...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

As reported in the May 2014 edition of Legal News: Investment Management Update, the SEC has made cybersecurity readiness a high-priority item to review when it conducts examinations of registered broker-dealers and...more

SEC Makes First Finding of Retaliation in Violation of the Exchange Act’s Anti-Retaliation Rule

On June 16, 2014, the SEC entered an order (the “Order”) instituting cease and desist proceedings against an investment adviser, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (“Paradigm”), and Paradigm’s founder, Director, President,...more

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