News & Analysis as of

SEC Sanctions Operator of Unregistered Virtual Currency Exchanges

On December 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned a computer programmer for operating two online exchanges that traded securities using virtual currencies without registering them as broker-dealers or stock...more

SEC Sanctions 8 Auditors in “Broken Gate” Enforcement Sweep

The SEC this week issued cease-and-desist orders against eight auditors, fining them $140,000 collectively, for violating auditor independence rules by preparing the very broker-dealer financials they were to audit....more

Legal Alert: SEC and PCAOB Address Independence Requirements in Audits Related to Broker-Dealers’ Financial Statements

Confirming that auditor independence continues to be a regulatory priority, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued orders on December 8,...more

Global Crowdfunding Site Consents to SEC Censure

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission censured Eureeca Capital SPC, an online, securities-based crowdfunding site incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for failing to implement procedures “reasonably designed” to...more

Bridging the Week - December 2014

CFTC Issues CME Group Report Card: Scores Generally Good But NYMEX and COMEX Directed to Continue to Enhance Spoofing Surveillance - The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group found early presents under its Christmas tree...more

Red Notice Newsletter - November 2014

Welcome to the November 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, a life sciences company settles multi-country bribery investigations, a...more

Blog: More “Broken Windows” Enforcement From The SEC?

Yesterday, the SEC announced that it had sanctioned ten companies (generally, smaller reporting companies traded on OTC Link) for failing to make required Form 8-K disclosures related to financings and unregistered stock...more

SEC Sanctions Athena in First High-Frequency Trading Manipulation Case

On October 16, in a groundbreaking trading manipulation case, the Securities and Exchange Commission entered an Order instituting a settled administrative proceeding against high-frequency trading firm Athena Capital...more

"Disclosure and Collateral Consequences of Enforcement Actions for Regulated Financial Services Firms"

Financial services firms facing enforcement proceedings at the hands of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any other financial industry regulator must consider disclosure obligations in the context of the...more

Barclays Is Sanctioned By The FCA and The SEC

Barclays took a double hit from regulators yesterday. First the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK fined Barclays Bank Plc, about £38 million for putting £16.5 billion of client assets at risk. Then the SEC imposed a $15...more

SEC Settles With Hedge Fund Adviser Over Trade Allocations and Disclosures Regarding Trading and Investment Strategies

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against Structured Portfolio Management, L.L.C., a hedge fund adviser (the “Adviser”), and two of its affiliated advisers, SPM Jr., L.L.C. (“Adviser A”) and SPM IV, L.L.C. (“Adviser...more

SEC Announces Additional Settlement Under Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

The SEC recently announced another issuer settlement under its Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (see our blogs First Settled Proceeding (July 23, 2014). In this settled action, Kansas consented to the standard...more

Red Notice Newsletter - July 2014

Welcome to the July 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, two Noble Corporation executives settle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

EY Sanctioned For Acting As An Advocate For Audit Clients

Auditor independence is critical. The opinion issued by the audit firm regarding the financial statements of an audit client represents in part that the firm is independent. That judgment is based on an assessment of all the...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

Red Notice Newsleter

Welcome to the May 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month, on the anticorruption front, Avon Products, Inc. (“Avon”) agrees to pay USD $135 million to settle a...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions - 04/30/14

Enforcement Matters: Improper Calculation of Client Advisory Fees Results in Enforcement Action - In a recent action (In the Matter of Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., Investment Advisers Act Release No....more

SEC Settles Administrative Proceedings Against CDO Sponsor and Collateral Manager Over Influence of Hedge Fund Firm on Collateral...

The SEC settled public administrative proceedings against Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (the “Sponsor”) relating to the structuring and marketing of three collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) and separately...more

SEC Settles with Adviser Over Discretionary Valuation Practices and Lack of Cross Trade Procedures

The SEC settled public administrative proceedings against a registered investment adviser (the “Adviser”) over (i) its exercise of discretion in valuing securities held by a privately offered fund the Advised managed (the...more

SEC Sanctions Three More Investment Advisers for Compliance Violations

The SEC’s Compliance Program Initiative bore more enforcement fruit. SEC today sanctioned three investment advisory firms for repeatedly ignoring compliance problems. The Initiative targets firms that fail to address...more

SEC Sanctions Adviser, Affiliated Broker-Dealer and Their Owner Over Class A Share Purchases and Commissions Paid on ETF Trades

The SEC settled claims against a registered investment adviser (the “Adviser”), its affiliated broker-dealer (the “Broker-Dealer”), and the founder, owner, and president of each (the “CEO”) that related to (1) investments in...more

SEC Sanctions Investment Adviser for Pushing Class A Shares When Investors Qualified to Buy Institutional Class Shares

The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned an investment adviser and its owner for failing to seek best execution and breaching their fiduciary duty in selecting mutual fund share classes for three advisory...more

SEC Sanctions Adviser Employee for Concealing Personal Securities Transactions and Misleading Chief Compliance Officer

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against the former employee (the “Adviser Employee”) of an adviser for four registered funds (the “Funds”) over his failure to report personal securities transactions as required by...more

Giving the CCO Teeth: SEC Sanctions Portfolio Manager for Misleading CCO

The SEC brought its first action for misleading and obstructing the work of a CCO this week, finding that a portfolio manager deliberately altered documents and misled the firm’s CCO in an attempt to hide violations of the...more

SEC Takes Oddly Aggressive Stance on Payment of Monetary Sanctions

When Mary Jo White was installed as the SEC’s chair in April, I had little doubt she would be well-suited for her new role. She is extremely well regarded in the securities bar, and doubts about “ties to Wall Street”...more

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