Enforcement Actions Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

Double-Check the Math: Advisers Should Not Provide Clients With Performance Data Created by Other Investment Managers Without...

In a series of enforcement actions this week, the SEC made it clear that investment advisers need to substantiate the performance records of investment management firms they recommend to their clients. In these cases,...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Numbers were the focus this week as the Commission filed 81 administrative proceedings (must be near fiscal year end) and two civil injunctive actions. Seventy-one of the actions involved municipal issuers who self-reported...more

SEC Overrules Its Own Administrative Law Judge to Clear Customer of Fraud Charges

In a rare reversal of its own administrative law judge in the Matter of optionsXpress, the full Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously held that the SEC’s Enforcement Division had not met its burden of proof that the...more

You May Not Stack the Deck: SEC Announces Penalties Against Companies Requiring Employees to Waive Whistleblower Protections to...

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced that two companies agreed to pay penalties of more than $500,000, combined, for illegally requiring employees to waive their rights to monetary awards from the...more

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #4

Editor's Note - Friend the Fed! As is the case every August, our federal government and regulators are hard at work, laser focused on the important issues of the day. In this regard, on August 18, the Federal Reserve...more

SEC Settles With 71 Municipal Issuers

The Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative has been a significant success. Under the Initiative the agency has filed settled enforcement actions against firm’s representing 96% of the market...more

Five Key Takeaways from Key Energy’s SEC FCPA Settlement

The SEC, last week, announced its $5 million settlement with Key Energy. As always, FCPA settlements contain important examples of enforcement priorities and policies. Key Energy’s recent settlement is an example of the...more

Business Litigation Report - 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...more

Three Immigration Lawyers Sanctioned by the SEC for Brokering EB-5 Investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just published three new decisions in connection with administrative proceedings against two well known immigration lawyers, as well as against a third lawyer. One party has...more

SEC Charges Private Equity Advisers With Inadequate Disclosure

The Commission has brought a series of cases against private equity centered on undisclosed fees and conflicts of interest – key areas of interest during OCIE exams. The latest proceeding in this string of cases involves four...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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