Securities Fraud Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

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

Investment Management Update

SEC Enforcement Action against Private Equity Fund Adviser - On June 1, 2016, the SEC announced that a private equity fund adviser and its principal owner agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle SEC charges that,...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Just prior to the July 4th holiday a legend of the federal securities bar passed away. Irving Pollock, or Irv as he was known, was the father of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. A New Mexico jury handed the Commission a...more

Wall Street Executive Pleads Guilty In Investment Fraud

Andrew Caspersen, a former managing principal of Blackstone Group, and a partner at Park Hill Group which raises capital for private equity, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud. U.S. v....more

Equity Trust Notches a Rare Defense Win in SEC Administrative Proceedings

On June 27, 2016, SEC Administrative Law Judge Carol Fox Foelak dismissed the Division of Enforcement’s charges against IRA custodian Equity Trust Company in connection with the company’s processing of investments marketed by...more

Jury Rejects SEC’s Key Claims While Deadlocking on Others

A jury rejected most counts brought by the SEC against two senior executives of Thornburg Mortgage, Inc., the second largest independent mortgage company in the country. The charges centered on a market crisis era scheme in...more

Left Swinging: Why Mickelson Went Uncharged For Insider Trading

In Depth - The Securities and Exchange Commission recently revealed details of an insider trading case against a gambler named William Walters, who allegedly engaged in insider trading based on information he obtained...more

A Compilation of Non-Enforcement and Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Mutual Fund Directors Must Be Vigilant in Addressing Risks - In remarks to the Mutual Fund Directors Forum, SEC Chair Mary Jo White outlined some of the risks and challenges that mutual fund...more

The SEC Critiques Itself – Could Changes to SEC Enforcement Investigations Be On The Way?

Last week, the SEC’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released its semiannual report to Congress, which details the OIG’s independent and objective audits, evaluations, investigations and other reviews of the SEC’s...more

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