Internal Controls

News & Analysis as of

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC requested comment on the development of a consolidated audit trail this week, a concept long discussed. The audit trail would enable regulators to track trading activity in the U.S. markets. Enforcement initiated...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission prevailed at trial in a market manipulation case. The trial followed a series of settlements and a grant of summary judgment in the Commission’s favor as to one defendant. The remaining defendant, a former NFL...more

Ketchum Clarifies How FINRA Will Assess a Firm’s Culture of Compliance

In an April 15, 2016 speech to the Brookings Institution, FINRA CEO Richard G. Ketchum addressed the fundamental question of whether the equity markets are sufficiently fair, flexible, and efficient to encourage the...more

SEC Prevails At Trial Over Former Professional Athlete

Sometimes is does not pay to be the last man standing – particularly in a Commission enforcement action. Such was the fate of former NFL player and Olympic athlete Willie Gault. SEC v. Heart Tronics, Inc., Case No....more

FinCEN Assesses Civil Money Penalty Against Nevada-Based Casino for AML/BSA Violations

On April 5, FinCEN assessed a civil money penalty against a Nevada-based casino for willfully violating the anti-money laundering provisions of the BSA. From 2010 through November 2013, the casino allegedly failed to (i)...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions and Public Commentary Demonstrate the Commission’s Continued Focus on Internal Control Failures

We have previously written about how, over the past few years, the SEC and other regulatory agencies have devoted substantial resources to investigations regarding allegations that public companies have inadequate internal...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Budget hearings were a focus this week as the Chair of the SEC and Chairman of the CFTC visited Capitol Hill. Both sought substantial increases, requesting more money for technology, inspections and enforcement. While the...more

Internal Controls Enforcement: Hoisting Yourself on Your Own Petard

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet included this often used  phrase – hoist with his own petard (a small bomb). Shakespeare never knew that his eloquence would apply to today’s SEC enforcement of internal controls. The FCPA...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions and Public Commentary Demonstrate the Commission’s Continued Focus on Internal Control Failures

We have previously written about how, over the past few years, the SEC and other regulatory agencies have devoted substantial resources to investigations regarding allegations that public companies have inadequate internal...more

Las Vegas Sands $9 Million SEC Settlement: An Easy Mark

The SEC continues its cutting edge FCPA enforcement program, bringing in a variety of enforcement cases and employing some new strategies. In its latest foray, the SEC settled with Las Vegas Sands, owned by Sheldon...more

The Vegas Sands FCPA Action: Good Controls are Good Business

FCPA cases typically center on the payment of bribes to obtain or retain business. The bribes paid are usually small in comparison to the profits achieved – the obvious motive for the wrongful conduct. The profits of course...more

Avoiding the “Al Capone” version of an FCPA enforcement action—Are your internal controls in order?

Notorious gangster Al Capone likely was guilty of numerous crimes, including bootlegging, maintaining a house of prostitution, bribery, racketeering and multiple counts of murder. Yet he was never convicted of those crimes. ...more

Nevada Casino Operator Settles FCPA Allegations with SEC

On April 7, the SEC settled FCPA allegations with a Nevada-based operator of numerous hotel, resort, and casino properties in the United States and Asia. In a cease and desist order, the SEC found that the operating company...more

Pharmaceutical Company Settles with SEC Regarding FCPA Offenses in China

On March 23, the SEC announced that it settled FCPA allegations with a Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company, via a cease and desist order finding that the company violated the FCPA’s book and records and internal controls...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was a key focus this week. The DOJ announced a new one year Pilot Program which holds the promise of a significant reduction in penalties if the firm self-reports and takes a series of steps....more

SEC Emphasizes Need for Documentation of Why Significant Deficiency is not a Material Weakness

The SEC recently announced settled administrative proceedings against Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (MHR), the former chief financial officer and chief accounting officer of MHR, the engagement partner on MHR’s external...more

Alert: DOJ Launches New FCPA Voluntary Disclosure Pilot Program

Why it matters: After several months of promising greater transparency relating to charging decisions for corporations that voluntarily disclose potential FCPA issues, on April 5, 2016, the Department of Justice announced the...more

DOJ launches new FCPA pilot program to encourage voluntary self-disclosure of misconduct: key takeaways

DOJ has announced a one-year pilot program to encourage companies to voluntarily self-disclose FCPA-related misconduct, cooperate with the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and remediate flaws in their internal controls and...more

SEC Chair Warns Silicon Valley That Unicorns Need To Be Watched and Monitored

Speaking last week at the SEC’s and Rock Center’s Silicon Valley Initiative at Stanford Law School, SEC Chair Mary Jo White cautioned Silicon Valley’s start-up companies regarding their potential lack of internal controls. ...more

[Webinar] FCPA Spotlight: Best Practices for Controls and Records - April 20th, 1:00pm, EDT

In recent weeks both software manufacturer SAP S.E. and SciClone Pharmaceuticals have entered into deferred prosecution agreements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle charges that they violated...more

Parent Company and Subsidiary Liability for FCPA Violations: Fighting the Disinformation Campaign

Akin to politics (to a smaller degree), there is a fair amount of disinformation, some call it bloviating, put out by the FCPA Paparazzi. Some of this disinformation is motivated by immature attempts to “market” legal...more

Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter

SEC Enforcement Trends for 2016 - Welcome to the latest edition of Fenwick and West’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement Newsletter. In this newsletter, we look at SEC enforcement trends for 2016, starting with a...more

SEC Settlement Sends a Strong Message to Companies: Treat Princelings and Commoners Alike, or Pay Dearly

On March 1, 2016, the SEC announced that Qualcomm Incorporated, a San Diego-based wireless telecommunication product company, agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle charges that its actions violated the Foreign Corrupt...more

SEC’s High Priority Financial Reporting Cases Illustrate the Importance of Verifying and Maintaining Rigorous Internal Controls

Over the past two years, the SEC has increased its focus on enforcement actions against companies for lack of internal controls in proceedings that have spanned a range of industries and have implicated several distinct...more

It’s Time Again for Audit Committees to Mind the Non-GAAP

Judging by the frequency of recent news reports and SEC staff speeches focused on non-GAAP financial measures, audit committees may be well served to take a fresh look at the non-GAAP measures reported by their companies and...more

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