Securities Fraud

News & Analysis as of

E.D. Wisconsin: SOX Does Not Protect Whistleblower Complaints Based On Immaterial, Routine Events

On August 25, 2016, the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on its former CEO’s SOX whistleblower claim. The court ruled that Plaintiff’s complaint to the Board of Directors did...more

Too Good to Be True: Fraudulent Self-Promotion Lands “Prodigy” in Hot Water with SEC

In June 2014, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an alert cautioning that investment newsletters are often “used to carry out schemes designed to deceive investors.”...more

The SEC Wins First Jury Trial in a Muni Case: SEC v. City of Miami and Michael Boudreaux

In what the SEC called “the first federal jury trial by the SEC against a municipality or one of its officers for violations of the federal securities laws,” a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of...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

Was This “Whiz Kid” An Investment Adviser?

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that a self-styled “stock trading whiz kid” and his Los Angeles, California company have agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a complaint for violations of...more

Investment Management Update

The Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Amendments to Form ADV and Investment Adviser Act Rules - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to Form ADV and Investment Advisers Act of 1940...more

SEC Granted Reversal, Remand and Jury Trial from the Ninth Circuit

On August 31, 2016, the SEC caught a break when a Ninth Circuit panel reversed Judge Manuel L. Real’s bench trial verdict for defendants, former corporate officers of the now-defunct Basin Water, Inc., finding that the SEC...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Attorney’s Statement Was “Made”, Not Attributed

Readers familiar with the Nicene Creed will instantly recognize the phrase “begotten, not made”. I won’t wade into the theological meaning of this phrase, but I cite it as an example of the importance that can be attached to...more

Ninth Circuit Permits SEC to Assert Standalone Claim for False Sarbanes-Oxley Certification and Confirms Disgorgement Remedy...

In Securities & Exchange Commission v. Jensen, No. 14-55221, 2016 WL 4537377 (9th Cir. Aug. 31, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit broke new ground by providing the Securities & Exchange...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

In the two weeks spanning the Labor Day weekend, the Commission continued bring cases arising from its inspection program. Two new actions alleging inadequate procedures regarding the disclosure of additional trading away...more

The Fifth Circuit Rules Findings from SEC Civil Investigation are Admissible Evidence at Trial

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals appears to have handed white collar defendants a new tool for trial. In United States v. Gluk, — F.3d —-, 2016 WL 4150901 (5th Cir. Aug. 4, 2016), the court held that a little-noticed...more

SEC Charges Promoters of Notes Backed by Gold Mine, U.S.

When it is to good to be true, it almost always is. But returns of 53% to 120%, backed by millions of ounces of gold and bonds from the U.S. and Bank of America? Too hard to resist. Investors paid their cash; the promoters...more

Cy Pres Standard Dispute Settled With Reasonable Approximation

The District Court for the Southern District of New York recently addressed whether the “next best” or “reasonable approximation” standard should apply when the court evaluates proposed cy pres designations in class action...more

No Repose for Debate on Applicability of American Pipe Tolling

In its seminal 1974 American Pipe opinion, the Supreme Court held that the commencement of a class action tolls the applicable statutes of limitation as to all putative class members who would have been parties had the class...more

SEC Issues $22 Million Whistleblower Award

On August 30, 2016, the SEC issued a $22 million whistleblower bounty award to an individual “whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud” at the whistleblower’s employer. The Acting...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.30.16

And after all the sturm und drang surrounding the Hershey Trust and the Mondelez buyout offer over these past few months . . .  it’s over.  Mondelez announced yesterday that it’s no longer seeking to acquire the Hershey...more

SEC Overrules Its Own Administrative Law Judge to Clear Customer of Fraud Charges

In a rare reversal of its own administrative law judge in the Matter of optionsXpress, the full Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously held that the SEC’s Enforcement Division had not met its burden of proof that the...more

Being a Returned Fugitive from Justice May Not Be the Worst Thing

But don’t flee justice! This is not legal advice to you, but I really don’t mean to recommend avoiding problems with federal prosecutors by going to other countries where it’s hard for those prosecutors to catch up with you....more

Imposing Section 10(b) Liability Against Defrauded Corporation Reads Scienter Element out of Statute—An Analysis of In re...

From time to time, D&O Developments will take a closer look at an important issue decided in an appellate opinion. In this post, I analyze In re ChinaCast Education Corp. Securities Litigation, 809 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2015),...more

SDNY Prosecutors Score First Post-Newman Insider Trading Conviction

On August 17, 2016, jurors in a New York federal court convicted Sean Stewart on criminal charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, and tender offer fraud after more than five days of deliberation. Stewart, a former...more

SEC Charges Adviser With Fraud Tied to “Death Puts”

The Commission’s enforcement division and inspectors at OCIE continue to work closely and have developed a series of cases in recent months. One of the more unusual proceeding spawned through this relationship is the action...more

Private Company Employee Stock Sales Highlight Hidden Dangers of Compliance Failures

We noted with interest the latest moves by some Bay Area tech giants to permit their employees to sell restricted stock to help them realize the stock value as part of their compensation: See New York Times reporting here. ...more

Stock Manipulation – A Family Affair

Sometimes it is all in the family. In this case it certainly appears to be all in the family – or at least largely. Jason, John, Jared and Derek Galanis teamed with Gary Hirst, Ymer Shahini and Gavin Hamels to manipulated the...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

SEC Files Another Excessive Fee Case

The Commission brought another in a series of civil and criminal actions centered on charging excessive, undisclosed fees to clients transitioning their portfolios. SEC v. Place, Civil Action No. 2:16-c-4291 (E.D.Pa. Filed...more

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