Sanctions Securities & Exchange Commission

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Investment Management Update - October 2016

Investment Adviser AXA Wins Excessive Fee Trial - A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled in favor of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Brings First Stand-Alone Whistleblower Retaliation Enforcement Action - On September 29, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought its first stand-alone whistleblower retaliation case under...more

Spoofing, Sports and the Panama Papers: BakerHostetler Offers Mid-Year Review of Cross-Border Government Investigations and...

Halfway through 2016, the international community has seen a staggering variety of cross-border investigations and enforcement actions. Brexit, the release of the Panama Papers, allegations of widespread sports doping and the...more

SEC Sanctions 71 Municipal Issuers for Misstatements

On August 24, the SEC announced settled administrative actions against 71 state and local issuers arising from $3.7 trillion in municipal securities offerings.  The Commission alleged the issuers made false statements...more

Three Immigration Lawyers Sanctioned by the SEC for Brokering EB-5 Investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just published three new decisions in connection with administrative proceedings against two well known immigration lawyers, as well as against a third lawyer. One party has...more

SEC Issues Cease-and-Desist Order Against Severance Agreement Clause Limiting Whistleblowers' Rights to Recover Bounty Awards

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a cease-and-desist Order and imposed remedial sanctions against a publicly traded company for including language in its severance agreements requiring...more

D.C Circuit rejects constitutional challenge to SEC’s use of administrative law judges

A challenge to the constitutionality of the SEC’s use of administrative law judges (ALJ) was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc. et al. v. Securities and Exchange...more

DC Circuit Upholds SEC ALJs in First Merits Opinion

The D.C. Circuit has affirmed that SEC ALJs are not constitutional Officers subject to the Appointments Clause, rejecting perhaps the strongest of the constitutional challenges to the Commission’s administrative forum. The...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 7.18.16

William Ackman’s multi-year effort to expose Herbalife as a Ponzi scheme (and make good on his massive short of its stock) saw something of a moral victory last week, with the FTC imposing big-time sanctions ($200 million in...more

SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker

We previously warned that some individuals involved with arranging EB-5 investments may be required to register as broker-dealers (see "Immigrant Investor Program Raises SEC Broker Registration Issues" in the Summer 2014...more

SEC Charges Private Equity Adviser for Unregistered Brokerage Activity

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 1, 2016 announced a settled enforcement action against a private equity fund manager (Adviser) for acting as a broker-dealer without registering. The case is...more

Lessons From SEC Sanctions Against Blackstreet

On June 1, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an administrative order sanctioning Blackstreet Capital Management LLC and Blackstreet’s managing member and principal owner, Murry N. Gunty, for acting as...more

SEC sanctions private equity fund adviser for acting as an unregistered broker

On June 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release announcing that a private equity fund advisory firm and its owner have agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle charges that included...more

SEC Sanctions BD for Compliance Issues Tied to Data Security

Data security has long been a critical issue. Protecting confidential customer information is key for broker-dealers, investment advisers and other Wall Street participants. Cyber security is a related issue of at least equal...more

Broker, Compliance Officer Fined For AML Failures

Money laundering continues to be a key focus of regulators. Recently, for example, FINCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery discussed money laundering through real estate transactions. Earlier this year the SEC brought an...more

Recent Criticisms of the SEC: Fair or Unfair?

Over the last few years, the SEC has been criticized for (1) failing to “consistently and aggressively enforce the securities laws and protect investors and the public,” (2) obtaining sanctions that amount to only a slap on...more

SEC Affirms Sanctions on Stanford’s CCO

The SEC recently affirmed its ALJ’s ruling barring Alan Stanford’s former CCO from the industry and ordering monetary penalties of $260,000 together with $591,992 in disgorgement. The Commission held the CCO approved false...more

Even Whistleblowers Must Pay the Piper

In a heavily redacted decision issued on April 5, 2016, the SEC approved the claim of one whistleblower and denied the claim of another for providing information related to an unidentified enforcement action. The SEC awarded...more

Fund Founder, Chief Legal Officer and Controller Sanctioned by SEC

The founder of a venture capital fund, assisted by its chief legal officer and controller, took more money from the fund as “advanced fees” than was actually due and owing. The money was used for other entities in the...more

SEC Administrative Case Reinforces Current Emphasis on Internal Controls

Consistent with its current focus on internal control over financial reporting (ICFR), the Securities and Exchange Commission recently sanctioned a company and individuals for failing to adequately evaluate and audit the...more

2015 Year-End Cross-Border Government Investigations and Regulatory Enforcement Review

Globalization has connected people, companies, and products across national borders more than ever. Goods and services developed in one part of the world are readily available in other parts of the world and technology is...more

Bridging the Week - March 2016

California Federal Court Refuses to Stop FERC Lawsuit to Uphold the Validity of US $453 Million Penalty for Manipulating Electricity Prices: A federal court in California refused to stop a lawsuit by the Federal Energy...more

E-Discovery Update: Changes to Rule 37’s Failure-to-Preserve-ESI Sanctions Impact Recent Rulings

For years, companies have battled different sanction standards for the failure to preserve documents. This led to over-preservation, where, to avoid accusations of “negligent” failure, companies preserved every shred of...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - February 2016

Eye on the Courts—Recent Opinions and Rulings of Note - Why it matters: From a white collar and securities fraud standpoint, there has been a lot of noteworthy activity in the courts of late. The Supreme Court granted...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - FINRA’s Proposed Pay-to-Play Rule Will Impact Investment Advisers - Late last year (December 24, 2015), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) submitted a proposed rule to the U.S....more

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