Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

SEC Busts Apollo for Disclosure and Supervisory Failures

The SEC charged four private equity fund advisers affiliated with Apollo Global Management for misleading fund investors about fees and a loan agreement and failing to supervise a senior partner who charged personal expenses...more

August 2016: Circuit Courts Align to Shield SEC Administrative Proceedings from Collateral Constitutional Attack

In response to the financial crisis of the late 2000s, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) in 2010. Previously the SEC could pursue civil penalties only against...more

Bridging the Week - August 2016 #3

Another Publicly Traded Firm Sanctioned by SEC For Allegedly Undercutting Whistleblower Protections Through Severance Agreements: Health Net, Inc., a formerly publicly traded company whose securities were registered with the...more

Court Dismisses on Religious Freedom Grounds EEOC’s Title VII Suit on Behalf of Fired Transgender Employee

Finding the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission failed to accommodate the religious beliefs of a funeral home’s owner who fired a transgender employee under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal district court...more

Companies Should Revisit Severance and Other Agreements as the SEC Steps Up Enforcement Actions to Protect Whistleblower Rights

In less than one week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced enforcement actions against two companies that had required their departing employees to waive their rights to any monetary recovery under the...more

What, If Anything, Impedes The SEC’s Whistleblower Rule?

As I suspected, law firms are churning out memoranda on the SEC’s recent enforcement actions involving alleged impediments to whistleblowers. While accurately, summarizing these actions, I’m not sure that some of the authors...more

AGG Food and Drug Newsletter - August 2016

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP's Food and Drug Newsletter is a monthly update of legal and regulatory issues that affect the FDA-regulated community, including regular updates on legislative initiatives from AGG’s Washington, DC...more

SEC Files Settled Offering Fraud Action

Offering fraud actions continue to be a staple of SEC enforcement. The Commission’s most recent action is this stream of cases involved a limited liability company that never engaged in business. SEC v. Jones, Civil Action...more

Putting a Premium on Illiquidity: Some Reflections on the SEC’s Scrutiny of Valuation Practices and Disclosures

Valuation is typically near the top of the list when the SEC’s enforcement division and exam staff disclose their priority topics for private funds.  We expect that trend to continue and, if anything, the focus on valuation...more

FTC Scrutinizes Dual Distributor Communications

A dual distribution relationship does not protect against Section 5 liability for an invitation to collude. For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged a company with violating Section 5 of the FTC...more

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, 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...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

FinCEN Expands Scope of “All Cash” GTOs

Continuing its efforts to deter the use of real estate as a vehicle to launder proceeds of criminal activity, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently announced its plan to extend the reach and time frame of...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

Insider Trading: Is Stewart the Way Forward for the Government?

The Government’s insider trading conviction last week in U.S.v. Stewart, No. 1:15-cr-00287 (S.D.N.Y.) is being hailed by some as the way forward for the DOJ and the SEC in a post-Newman world. Perhaps. But consideration of...more

Developments in SEC Private Company Enforcement: Sophisticated VC’s in the Role of Victim

The announcement that San Francisco private company Hampton Creek faces an SEC inquiry related to their alleged “buyback” program of vegan mayo comes as no shock... As soon as the facts were initially reported it seemed only...more

Two New SEC Orders Further Limit Employers' Ability to Secure Employee Releases and the Breadth of Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued two orders challenging employee confidentiality agreements and indicating that companies must not condition employees’ receipt of severance payments and other...more

The SEC Nixes Contractual Waivers of Whistleblower Recoveries

In April 2015, the SEC announced in a first-of-its-kind enforcement action that certain KBR, Inc. confidentiality agreements violated the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act by requiring employees and former...more

FCC Fines Non-Telecom Companies for Lapse in Compliance with Wireless Rules

FCC Fines Non-Telecom Companies for Lapse in Compliance with Wireless Rules August 19, 2016 The enforcement action highlights the importance of complying with FCC rules with respect to their wireless facilities and devices....more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #3

Editor's Note - MetLife Fights On. MetLife continued to fight its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) this week as the insurer filed its reply brief in the Financial Stability...more

SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from...more

Board Interlocks On Antitrust Enforcement Hot Seat: A Must-Read Guide for Board Members and Officers

Recent enforcement activity by the Department of Justice (that required restructuring a live transaction) and the Federal Trade Commission makes clear that enforcement of Section 8 of the Clayton Act, the prohibition against...more

Redux - federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - Reading advance sheets often brings the closing line from The Great Gatsby to mind.  Our alert from April 2015 is being rerun in full...more

SEC Continues to Target Employer Agreements Restricting Whistleblower Rights

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) recently announced the settlement of two cease-and-desist proceedings against employers alleged to have unlawfully restricted employees’ rights to engage...more

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