Securities Fraud Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

SEC, USAO Charge Film Producer With Fraud

The Commission brought a fraud action against a movie producer who is alleged to have misappropriated client funds in two complex transactions. SEC v. Bergstein, Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-08701 (S.D.N.Y. Filed Nov. 9, 2016)....more

Financial Executive Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

Former financial executive Andrew Caspersen was sentenced to serve four years in prison after defrauding investors of over $38 million followed by three years of supervised release. Restitution will be determined by the court...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission brought actions this week centered on the failure to properly conduct audits, an offering fraud and for acting as an unregistered broker. FINRA sanctioned eight firms for failing to adequately supervise the...more

SEC and DOJ Charge Board Member with Trading on Inside Information . . . During a Board Meeting

On Friday, the SEC filed a complaint against James C. Cope, a former member of the Executive Committee of Pinnacle Financial Partners’ (“PFP”) board of directors, alleging that he engaged in insider trading. The same day,...more

SEC’s 2016 Activity Breaks Enforcement and Whistleblower Records

Earlier this month, the SEC (the “Agency”) announced that it initiated a record-breaking 868 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2016. This figure – along with other milestones – reflect the Agency’s commitment to expanding...more

Key Takeaways: Fourth Annual Seminar for Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Device Companies

On October 5, 2016, Skadden hosted its Fourth Annual Seminar for Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Device Companies. The seminar focused on the current and developing challenges facing such companies and included...more

Hong Kong Securities Laws Violations: The SFC’s Extra-Territorial Reach – Part 2 (U.S. short-seller found culpable of market...

Hong Kong’s Market Misconduct Tribunal (the "MMT") has found U.S.-based Andrew Edward Left culpable of market misconduct in connection with his research report (“Left’s report”), published on June 21, 2012 on a U.S.-based...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission filed another action in which admissions were required as part of the settlement. The proceeding named as Respondents a foreign bank and two of subsidiaries. Respondents variously acted as unregistered brokers...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

As the government fiscal year draws to an end, the Commission filed a series of enforcement actions. Those included two insider trading cases, an action alleging violations of the whistleblower provisions, another against a...more

SEC Enforcement Actions for Failure to Report Sales of Unregistered Securities

On two successive days, the SEC brought settled enforcement actions against issuers for failure to report sales of unregistered securities. Under Item 1.01 of Form 8-K, a registrant must disclose its entry into a material...more

SEC Sends Another Message on Section 16 Filings

In connection with a partial settlement of alleged fraudulent activities, the SEC charged three directors of a company associated with the fraud that did not participate in the fraud with failing to make Section 16 filings....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

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

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

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

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

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

A Ponzi Scheme Where One Investor Directly Paid Another

In the typical Ponzi scheme unscrupulous individuals induce investors to part with their cash based on a series of misrepresentations about the proposed investment. The investor money is then in part misappropriated and in...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

Bridging the Week - July 2016 #2

Michael Coscia Sentenced to Three Years’ Imprisonment for Spoofing and Commodity Fraud: Michael Coscia, the first person prosecuted and convicted under a law prohibiting spoofing that was enacted after the 2007-2008...more

Bridging the Week - July 2016

Government Seeks Maximum Sentence in Coscia Criminal Action: The United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago requested last week that the judge presiding over the criminal trial of Michel Coscia impose the maximum sentence...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 7.11.16

A putative class action filed last week is accusing 25 prominent banks—including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays—of “conspiring to rig the market for securities” sold by the US Treasury in their roles as primary...more

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