Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

Mine Commission Upholds Safety Agency’s Demand for Records in Split Decision

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld a judge’s decision favoring the government over a Western Kentucky coal operator who had refused to honor a directive to provide federal authorities with a...more

New Appointment Underscores SEC’s Focus on Cybersecurity Threats

On June 2, 2016, the SEC announced the appointment of Christopher Hetner as Senior Advisor to the Chair for Cybersecurity Policy. Hetner, who was formerly the Cybersecurity Lead for the Technology Control Program within the...more

SEC Charges Another China Based Firm With Fraud

The key to China based Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Limited’s business was its storage facilities for oil, gas, fuel oil and solvents, claimed to be the largest in the area. While the firm repeatedly made...more

SEC Charges Business Media Star With Fraud

The Frack Master was a media star with frequent appearances on CNBC, CNN International, Fox Business news, the BBC and a weekly radio talk show in Dallas, all discussing oil-and-gas topics. He marketed interests in oil and...more

Bridging the Week - June 2016 #4

Broker-Dealer Sanctioned US $415 Million by SEC for Violating Customer Protection Requirements: Two Merrill Lynch entities agreed to pay sanctions of US $415 million to resolve charges brought by the Securities and...more

Battle of the Somme Week – Part II: Lessons for the CCO from Analogic

Today, I want to focus on the planning phase of the Battle of the Somme, which led to the disastrous casualties sustained by the British. Although rarely mentioned, I think the accidental drowning death of Lord Kitchener,...more

The Only Thing You Have to Fear . . . Is No Documentation

Compliance is a profession that requires multi-tasking – another profound grasp of the obvious. But in the multi-tasking world, some principles and strategies are more important than others. My colleague and compliance...more

"Cross-Border Investigations Update - June 2016"

This issue of Skadden’s semiannual Cross-Border Investigations Update takes a look at recent cases and enforcement trends, including proposed amendments to China’s commercial bribery law, the use in U.S. courts of compelled...more

The Financial Report, Volume 5, Number 12 - June, 2016 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis In our last edition, we discussed a recent SEC enforcement action against a private equity fund advisory firm and its owner, who agreed to pay more than $3 million to settle charges that included...more

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

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