Penalties Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

SEC Penalizes Company For Severance Language Purportedly Impeding Complaints

On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that BlueLinx Holdings Inc. (Company) is settling charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by requiring outgoing employees to waive whistleblower bounty awards in connection with severance...more

Severance Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Provisions

The SEC has a robust whistleblower program which is considered an important adjunct to its enforcement efforts. To that end the Commission has participated in whistleblower cases as an amicus and brought actions regarding...more

The Scope Of SEC Defendants' Jury Trial Right: Part 3

This is the third of four articles examining the scope of the Seventh Amendment jury trial right for civil defendants in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions. Our first article explained why the Seventh...more

SEC – Phoenix Settle Accounting Errors Action

Financial reporting cases are a key focus of SEC enforcement. In some instances the actions result from fraudulent schemes such as those where executives falsify the numbers to obtain a bonus. In other instances the actions...more

SEC Requires Admissions To Settle Another Blue Sheet Case

Blue sheets are an important tool for the SEC. Named for the fact that the form at one time was printed on blue paper, the information request requires the immediate production of key information regarding a securities...more

Additional Regulatory Hurdles for Private Equity Advisers

The private equity industry should carefully consider the implications of a recent Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") enforcement action. In it, the SEC, for the first time, sanctioned an SEC-registered private equity...more

SEC Charges Private Fund Administrator with “Gatekeeper Failures”

Add fund administrators to the list of service providers the SEC expects to act as “gatekeepers.” In two separate settled actions last week, the SEC found that a private fund administrator “caused” the managers’ unregistered...more

Repeated, Small Insider Trades Draws SEC Sanctions

Repeated insider trading, no matter how small the amounts, is likely to be found by the SEC’s big data approach to surveillance. A former vice president of a retail chain learned this lesson the hard way. SEC v. Hammon, Civil...more

Don’t even think about violating that penny stock bar.

The penny stock world can be rough. So rough that breaking the rules in that corner of the securities markets ban bring its own kind of injunction, one that’s much more specific than the typical don’t-break-the-law-anymore...more

Chameleon SROs: The Gov’t, But Not Really

For years, self-regulatory agencies (like FINRA or the Exchanges) have wielded the statutory authority granted them by Congress – and backed by the SEC – exercising governmental power to compel testimony, impose fines and...more

Stop Faxing

I’ve long thought that sending faxes was a pretty silly means of communication. Don’t send me a fax. I don’t want it. At some point I’m hoping that even my kids’ doctor’s office will get dragged into the 20th century and...more

SEC Files Offering Fraud Action Centered on Warrants From Private Firm

The SEC filed another offering fraud action, a current staple of the agency. This scheme centered on two former executives of a privately held software manufacturer and a marketer who sold investors interests in various...more

SEC Sanctions Audit Firm, Partner Tied to Custody Rule

Custody Rule cases are rapidly becoming a staple of SEC enforcement. Rule 206(4)-2 requires registered investment advisers with custody of client funds or securities to implement certain controls to protect those assets....more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Remember to Update Your Risk Disclosure on an Ongoing Basis - The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued guidance reminding mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and other...more

Thirteen Observations About the SEC’s Enforcement Program

Over the last two months, the SEC issued two reports that provide useful perspectives on its enforcement program. In February, it issued the combined 136-page “FY 2017 Congressional Justification & FY 2015 Annual Performance...more

SEC Imposes Penalties on Company and Officers for Inadequate Staffing in Accounting Department

Highlights - The SEC settled charges against Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation and two of its officers for deficient oversight of the company’s internal controls over financial reporting, resulting in fines of...more

"SEC Announces Enforcement Results for Fiscal Year 2015"

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently announced its enforcement results for fiscal year 2015. The release touted high-impact and first-of their-kind actions, as well as an increase in the number and...more

Our Modern Markets: SEC Enforcement Focuses On Market Structure In Response To Rapidly-Changing Equity Markets

On Monday, November 2, 2015, Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, gave a speech at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society New York Regional Seminar in which he sought to address what he views as the...more

Recent MCDC Settlements Provide Guidance Concerning Scope of Materiality in Continuing Disclosure Obligations

In responding to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative, the unanswered question for many municipalities and broker-dealers was determining whether...more

Financial Services Weekly News - October 2015 #4

Regulatory Developments - SEC to Vote on Final Title III Crowdfunding Rules Oct. 30: The SEC has announced that it will vote on whether to adopt rules and forms related to the offer and sale of securities through...more

Second Wave of MCDC Hits Underwriters ….No Smooth Sailing Ahead!

On September 30 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced another round of enforcement actions against 22 municipal underwriting firms for disclosure violations in connection with municipal bond offerings. The...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - October 2015

"Wherefore Art Thou Due Process?" Part III - Why it matters: It is time for another installment in our continuing "Wherefore Art Thou Due Process?" coverage into the ongoing constitutional challenges to the SEC's...more

SEC Sanctions Broker-Dealer and Affiliated Asset Manager for Breaching Information Barriers for Exchange-Traded Products

On October 8, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged an investment adviser and a broker dealer for failing to maintain and enforce polices to prevent misuse of material non-public information. Without admitting...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC prevailed on two summary judgment motions. One centered on a manipulation action. The other was against an attorney who facilitated a prime bank fraud. The Commission also filed: An action against UBS tied to its...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Form PF — What Purpose? SEC registered investment advisers with at least $150 million of assets under management in private funds are required to periodically file Form PF with the SEC. The...more

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