Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

This Week In Securities Litigation

Merrill Lynch was at the center of actions brought by the SEC and FINRA this week. One action charged the firm with violations of the customer protection rule tied to using customer cash and failing to protect their...more

SEC Charges Private Fund Administrator with “Gatekeeper Failures”

Add fund administrators to the list of service providers the SEC expects to act as “gatekeepers.” In two separate settled actions last week, the SEC found that a private fund administrator “caused” the managers’ unregistered...more

ACH Debit Transactions – Whose Agent Are You?

Tucked away in a seeming innocuous paragraph in a complaint, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has asserted an extraordinary and potentially far-reaching expansion of its authority. On June 6, 2016, the...more

Hill v. SEC: Eleventh Circuit Buries District Court Challenges to the Constitutionality of SEC Enforcement Actions

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a district court cannot hear constitutional challenges to an ongoing administration enforcement action of the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Alert: FTC Settles First Enforcement Action Against Mobile Advertising Company

On June 22, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced that it would settle its first-ever enforcement action against a mobile advertising company, InMobi. InMobi agreed, subject to court approval of the settlement, to...more

Latest FTC Privacy Action Looks Carefully at Geolocation Promises

A mobile device’s geolocation can be passed to apps and ad networks through various application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by Android or iOS, but there are other ways to determine a consumer’s location using...more

SEC – Charter School CEO Settle Muni Bond Charges

The Commission resolved its second action arising out of undisclosed conflicts tied to a municipal bond offering used to fund construction for charter schools. SEC v. Rangel, Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-06391 (N.D. Ill. Filed...more

Financial Services Weekly News - June 2016 #4

Regulatory Developments - SEC Issues Order Approving Inflation Adjustments to “Qualified Client” Dollar Thresholds for Investment Adviser Performance Fee Rule - On June 14, the SEC issued an order approving...more

FTC Settles Charges with Misleading Websites: Another Native Advertising Enforcement Action

Following on the heels of the FTC’s March 2016 settlement with Lord & Taylor concerning a deceptive native advertising campaign, the FTC just announced that it has reached a settlement with SmartClick Media LLC over its phony...more

Higher Fines Imposed for Environmental Offences

Powerday plc was issued a record fine in April this year for offences relating to operations involving over 17,000 tonnes of waste deposited and stored illegally. Powerday – one of the biggest waste-management companies in...more

OSHA Announces New Enforcement Program for Whistleblower Cases

The “pilot” Severe Violator Enforcement Program will impose more stringent inspection procedures, enhanced settlement provisions, and “public scrutiny” for employers that OSHA deems to have engaged in “egregious behavior and...more

DOJ - SEC Resolve FCPA Actions – Consider Cooperation

A Massachusetts based medical imaging company resolved FCPA charges with the DOJ and the SEC stemming from actions taken by its Danish subsidiary and its CFO. The actions center on about 180 suspicious transactions in Russia...more

SEC Staff Throws Funds a Lifeline on Auditor Independence (For Now)

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management provided temporary relief from the headache created for funds when the failure to meet the provisions of the so-called “loan rule” may disqualify fund auditors from being...more

SEC Settles with Private Equity Fund Adviser Charged with Acting as an Unregistered Broker

A recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settlement order highlights the importance that the SEC has placed on the issue of broker-dealer registration for the private equity industry. On June 1, 2016, the SEC...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 6.22.16

Elon Musk is curing what ails SolarCity by having his Tesla motors company buy it—a move he’s called “obvious” [though others disagree] but which will leave him personally exposed to margin calls if the stock price for the...more

Eleventh Circuit Joins Peers in Preserving SEC’s Home Court Advantage

After four failed attempts at persuading federal appellate courts to hear constitutional challenges to SEC administrative courts, it is increasingly clear that defendants in SEC in-house proceedings will not be able to pursue...more

Blog: Financial Conduct Authority to look at Appointed Representatives & their principals

Appointed Representative principals sometimes find themselves on the wrong end of an FCA supervisory intervention or enforcement action; but this is rare. It may also be about to change. Today’s internal FCA...more

SEC acts against Private Equity Firm for Acting as an Unregistered Broker

On June 1, 2016, the SEC issued a press release that announced a Maryland-based private equity fund advisory firm and its owner have agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle charges that they engaged in brokerage...more

CFTC Brings Significant Enforcement Action Against Online Cryptocurrency Exchange

The action reflects the CFTC’s expanded jurisdiction and provides further clarity on what constitutes “actual delivery” in cryptocurrency trading. On June 2, 2016, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)...more

EEOC Sues Automation Personnel Services, Inc. For Sex Discrimination

Staffing Agency Refused to Hire Qualified Applicant Because of Her Gender, Federal Agency Charges - BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Automation Personnel Services, Inc., a Pelham, Ala.-based staffing agency, violated federal law by...more

The Whistle Blows Again: SEC Pays Second Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) awarded the second largest whistleblower bounty – $17 million – granted under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules to date. Previously, the highest whistleblower...more

Repeated, Small Insider Trades Draws SEC Sanctions

Repeated insider trading, no matter how small the amounts, is likely to be found by the SEC’s big data approach to surveillance. A former vice president of a retail chain learned this lesson the hard way. SEC v. Hammon, Civil...more

“Nonbank” Lender Seeks Injunction Restraining CFPB Administrative Action

On May 9, 2016, Integrity Advance, LLC and its CEO James Carnes filed suit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) in United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to enjoin the CFPB from...more

EU-US Data Transfers?: An update on actions taken by European DPAs

After the European Court of Justice invalidated Safe Harbor on October 6, ?2015, the Article 29 Working Party announced in an October 16, 2015 statement that US companies that were Safe Harbor certified had until the end of...more

11th Circuit Holds Judicial Review of SEC ALJs Premature

The Eleventh Circuit Friday joined three others in concluding that Congress intended Respondents must wait until appeal from the Commission to have a Court consider their challenges to the Constitutionality of the SEC’s...more

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