News & Analysis as of

SEC Continues to Focus on Microcap Fraud

Microcap fraud is a continuing enforcement priority for the SEC. Last week, for example, the Commission brought an action centered on what would have been a pump and dump scheme but for the fact that the shell company was...more

Examples of Social Media in M&A Transactions

In April 2014, the SEC provided guidance on the use of social media in M&A and other contexts. Companies have begun to cautiously make use of the guidance but the flood gates haven’t exactly opened....more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 18, 2014)

The SEC’s insider trading probe regarding the House Ways and Means Committee and a senior staff member, also involves 44 investment funds and other entities, according to a Bloomberg news report citing recently filed court...more

FDA Promises Guidance on Lawful Off-Label Promotion

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the "FDA") announced that by the end of the year, the agency would issue a draft guidance document addressing the contours of lawful and unlawful off-label promotion. The...more

Swimming in the Deep End: A Primer on Dark Pools

“Dark pools of liquidity” have recently become the focus of increased regulatory scrutiny, including a number of high-profile enforcement actions related to these alternative trading systems. This increased scrutiny follows...more

SEC Settles Civil FCPA Action Against Two Former Oil Services Executives

On the eve of a trial which was scheduled to begin this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled a civil Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) case it brought against two former oil services executives. The case...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Latin America Edition

In this issue: - US DEVELOPMENTS - SEC Developments - PCAOB Adopts Auditing Standard and Amendments - Noteworthy US Securities Law Litigation - Recent SEC/DOJ Enforcement Matters...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Asia Edition

In this issue: - ASIAN DEVELOPMENTS - HKEx Publishes Revised Connected Transaction Rules - US DEVELOPMENTS - SEC Developments - PCAOB Adopts Auditing Standard and Amendments -...more

The SEC, Insider Trading, Golf And E-Mails

Insider trading is generally a profit making venture. But not always as a group of golf friends recently learned – and documented in numerous e-mails that may have actually created a better evidentiary trail than the much...more

Private Equity: The Next Wave of SEC Enforcement Actions?

Ever since the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required many investment advisers to private equity funds to register with the SEC for the first time, fund managers knew that additional scrutiny might...more

An XBRL Prod from the SEC

The SEC has been noticeably quiet about XBRL compliance since those regulations were adopted in 2009. In July, however, the staff softly prodded this public company sore spot (think: conflicts mineral sore) with a letter...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 11, 2014)

The unblemished record of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office in insider trading cases came to an end this week with the acquittal of Rengan Rajaratnam, brother of the convicted Galleon Fund founder. This is the first loss...more

Two Observations From the SEC’s First Settlement Under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

Just yesterday, the SEC announced its first settlement pursuant to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. ... Here are two observations on this settlement that could shed some light on...more

SEC’s First Action Under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

The SEC settled its first action under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative, launched on March 10, 2014. Under the Initiative the Enforcement Division agreed to recommend settlement on favorable,...more

Second Circuit Overturns District Court’s Rejection of SEC-Citigroup Fraud Settlement

In a closely-watched decision involving judicial review of agency settlements, the Unites States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s 2011 order rejecting a proposed...more

SEC Charges Tied to the Lack of An Algorithm

High speed trading and the use of algorithms is a key topic of debate. An investment strategy centered on an algorithm for use in the currency markets is at the center of a settled administrative proceeding filed by the...more

Parallel Government Actions Against Bank of America May Proceed

On June 19, Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina issued Orders in two parallel actions by the DOJ and SEC against Bank of America, previously covered in the August 12, 2013 and April 7, 2014...more

Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC)

We want to make you aware of a new Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement initiative that impacts issuers of municipal bonds or other governmental securities or other persons obligated to provide secondary market...more

SEC Enforces First-Ever Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently entered into a $2.2 million settlement agreement with Paradigm Capital Management Inc. and its owner Candace King Weir, in its first-ever action enforcing whistleblower...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 3, 2014)

In a holiday shortened week, dark pools were again a focus for regulators. This week FINRA sanctioned Goldman Sachs in connection with the operation of its dark pool....more

Paying for Playing: SEC Brings First Pay-to-Play Action against an Investment Adviser

The SEC has brought the first action under the “pay-to-play” rule adopted under the Investment Advisers Act. Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC Enforcement Division, served notice that the SEC “will hold investment advisers...more

SEC Cooperation Agreements: With the Right Approach, Potentially a Valuable Tool for Those Facing Sanctions

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck attorneys recently worked with staff in the Denver Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to negotiate both a proffer agreement and a cooperation agreement on...more

SEC Brings First Whistleblower Retaliation Enforcement Action

In announcing its first enforcement action for retaliating against a whistleblower, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sends a strong message to firms: it is serious about bringing charges against companies...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

As reported in the May 2014 edition of Legal News: Investment Management Update, the SEC has made cybersecurity readiness a high-priority item to review when it conducts examinations of registered broker-dealers and...more

Friday Afternoon Smackdown – The SEC v. The House Of Representatives

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action against the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives and congressional staffer Brian Sutter seeking enforcement of...more

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