Enforcement Actions Securities & Exchange Commission

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Why Did BHP Billiton Settle an FCPA Case Including 7+ Year-Old Conduct?

Remember the Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? BHP Billiton has probably had reason to think about it recently. On Wednesday it settled an FCPA case with the SEC arising out of the company’s sponsoring the...more

Is It Time to Switch Gears? Enforceability of Automotive Company Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Given the large workforces and importance of intellectual property and trade secrets in the automotive industry, automotive companies rely heavily on confidentiality provisions in employment agreements and employee handbooks....more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - May 2015 #3

SEC Proposals to Enhance Investment Company and Investment Adviser Reporting: As we went to press, the SEC commissioners announced that they had voted to approve two proposals. The first was for new and amended rules and...more

SEC Charges Australian Mining Company for FCPA Violations Arising from Its Hospitality Program at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

On May 20, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a $25 million settlement with Australian mining company BHP Billiton (the "Company") to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) charges...more

No Investor Harm, No Ill-gotten Gains But SEC Fines Insurer $8 Million

Last week the Commission resolved a proceeding involving a life insurance company centered on the pricing of its variable annuity and variable life insurance products. Specifically, the Order alleged violations of Rule 22c-1...more

Expanded Whistleblower Protections Impact Confidentiality Policies and Agreements

All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National...more

Cross-Border Investigations Update - May 2015

In This Issue: - Recent Prosecutions and Settlements: FCPA Enforcement Trends and Developments: Recent U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement trends include the growing importance of corporate...more

SEC Enforcement Division Issues Guidance on Venue Selection

Respondents in SEC enforcement actions increasingly will litigate a wide array of matters in administrative proceedings, rather than having their day in federal district court. In the wake of significant public...more

Is the SEC a Toothless Watch Dog?

SEC enforcement actions are supposed to halt violations, protect investors and the markets, act as a deterrent and prevent a future repetition of wrongful conduct. To facilitate those goals settlements typically incorporate...more

Two Recent Decisions Potentially Expand Fraudulent Transfer Exposure in Ponzi Schemes

Two recent decisions from the Fifth Circuit and Eighth Circuit could expand the fraudulent transfer exposure of unknowing third parties that provide goods, services, or funding to companies operating Ponzi...more

SEC Settles Another Market Crisis Financial Fraud Action

The Commission resolved another financial fraud action stemming from the aftermath of the market crisis. This proceeding, initially brought in June 2014, named as a Respondent Thomas Neely, Jr., and E.V. P. of Regions Bank....more

The (Relatively) “New” Model for Corporate Criminal “Investigations” (Part I of IV)

The Justice Department continues to be dogged by questions surrounding its conduct of criminal investigations. These concerns are being raised in the context of extreme cynicism given DOJ’s “failure” to prosecute individuals...more

The Recent SEC Attack on Confidentiality Agreements: What Employers Need To Know and Do Now

Introduction - • Employers typically impose confidentiality restrictions to protect trade secrets and confidential information, including when conducting internal investigations and in employee separation...more

SEC Files Fraud Action Centered on Student Loans

Student loans, and the debt burdening many students at graduation, is an important political topic. It is not generally a subject for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nevertheless, at the center of is most recent...more

Administrative Proceedings vs. Federal Court: The SEC Provides Limited Transparency Into Its Choice of Forum

For the past two years, the SEC has come under heavy fire, both inside and outside the Commission, for its increasing use of its own administrative proceedings, rather than federal courts, as the preferred forum for bringing...more

Asset Management Firm Pays $12 Million in Settlement of SEC Conflict of Interest Case

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is showing new vigor in enforcing conflict of interest cases within asset management firms. Earlier this year, an SEC spokeswoman mentioned that the Commission has...more

SEC Files Offering Fraud Action Against Radio Show Hosts

The SEC filed another offering fraud action, a staple of Enforcement. This action centers on two recidivist radio talk show hosts selling interest in life settlements based on enhancements of their investment credentials,...more

Bridging the Week - May 2015 #2

Two Traders Subject of CME Summary Suspension for Alleged Spoofing Sued by CFTC Too - Last week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission commenced a lawsuit in federal court in New York against Heet Khara and Nasim...more

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for April 2015

1. Criminal Division AAG Promises Increased Transparency in Corporate Charging Decisions. In an April 17, 2015 speech at New York University Law School’s Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement, Leslie Caldwell,...more

SEC Publishes A Memo On Forum Selection

In the wake of a series of law suits challenging the discretion of the SEC to bring actions as administrative proceedings and questioning of Chair White last week at a Senate Subcommittee budget hearing on the topic, the...more

April Whistleblower News Digest | Consider Targeted Anti-Retaliation Training as part of Your Ethics and Compliance Training...

If April showers bring May flowers, then May is going to be a veritable hurricane of whistleblower-related fines (and also pollen). Our first three items come to us from the SEC, with awards and fines galore, most notably the...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The debate over waivers WKSI waivers and other similar provisions continued this week. The Commission granted a WKSI waiver to Deutsche Bank despite a guilty plea to criminal felony charges but only over the dissent of...more

SEC Files Another Market Crisis Case

The market crisis of the last decade seems to have a never ending dribble of cases. The SEC filed another this week, naming four former officers of Wilmington Trust Company as defendants. SEC v. Gibson (D.Del. Filed May 6,...more

Business Litigation Report - May 2015

In This Issue: - Main Article: ..Insider Trading After United States v. Newman, the Second Circuit’s Landmark Decision Limiting Liability of Downstream Recipients of Insider Information - Noted With...more

Newest Whistleblower Award Reveals Possible Trend for Compliance Personnel and Company Officers

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to reward whistleblowers through Dodd-Frank’s bounty program. On April 22, the SEC announced an award of more than one million dollars to a whistleblower who provided useful...more

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