News & Analysis as of

Form D: Short But Not Simple.

Companies selling securities are generally required to register the offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In certain circumstances, an offering may qualify for an exemption from these registration...more

Securities Litigation Update

The summer may feel like a more leisurely time of year, but not in securities litigation news. Here are some of the more significant headlines...more

Foreign Brokers Doing Business in the United States

Foreign brokers that engage in securities transactions with U.S. investors based in the United States must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). There are two major exceptions to this rule. The...more

Condo Hotel Branding: Benefits and New Risks with Rule 506(c) - Condo Hotel Projects Sold as Exempt Securities Require Informed...

Condominium hotels are a subject of renewed interest, buoyed by the rising tide for real estate generally. These projects are also encouraged by favorable trends for financing under the SEC's new Rule 506(c) that allows...more

SEC Charges Corporate Officers with Fraud Arising from Failure to Disclose Internal Controls Issues and Alleged Misrepresentations...

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) advanced a novel theory of fraud against the former CEO (Marc Sherman) and CFO (Edward Cummings) of Quality Services Group, Inc. (“QSGI”), a Florida-based...more

Former Chief Operating Officer Settles SEC Fraud Claims

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that Peter Jenson, the former chief operating officer of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, agreed to pay a $200,000 civil penalty to resolve charges that he aided the...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 30

In this issue: - Amendments to FINRA Rule 2210 Regarding Communications With the Public - Smith & Wesson Pays $2 Million to Resolve SEC Charges - Former Chief Operating Officer Settles SEC Fraud...more

Industry Concerns Prompt SEC To Modify MCDC Initiative

In response to concerns raised by industry participants, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made some modifications to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (MCDC Initiative). The SEC...more

2014 Mid-Year Report Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement

Welcome to the 2014 Mid-Year Report from the BakerHostetler Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Practice Team. Its purpose is to provide a periodic survey, apart from our team Executive Alerts, on matters we...more

SEC Sends Wells Notice to S&P Concerning MBS Ratings

On July 23, S&P’s parent company, McGraw Hill Financial Inc., disclosed that it received a Wells notice indicating that the SEC’s enforcement staff had made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC institute an...more

SEC Charges ECN Operator For Failing To Protect Customer Data

Fragmented markets, alternative trading systems and dark pools are increasingly a focus of discussion in the wake of repeated market outages. Interest in these venues has been intensified by the publication of Flash Boys and...more

SEC Continues to Focus on Microcap Fraud

Microcap fraud is a continuing enforcement priority for the SEC. Last week, for example, the Commission brought an action centered on what would have been a pump and dump scheme but for the fact that the shell company was...more

Swimming in the Deep End: A Primer on Dark Pools

“Dark pools of liquidity” have recently become the focus of increased regulatory scrutiny, including a number of high-profile enforcement actions related to these alternative trading systems. This increased scrutiny follows...more

Can You Raise Money From Investors Who Are Not “Accredited Investors”?

A question I receive frequently from entrepreneurs raising capital for the first time is whether they can raise money from people who do not meet the SEC definition of “accredited investors.” The easy answers are “you...more

FINRA Announces and Publishes Its Sweep of Order Routing Practices

FINRA announced this week that it is conducting a review of its member firms’ order-routing processes and procedures and the execution quality of customer orders in exchange-listed stocks. We previously reported in this...more

SEC Charges Auditor of PRC Firm With Unprofessional Conduct

The Commission filed another proceeding against an audit firm and its partners arising out of the audit of a PRC issuer. Unlike earlier actions involving audit firms for Chinese issuers, in this case the difficulties did not...more

SEC Announces Order for Tick Size Pilot Plan to Assess Impact on Market Quality for Small Cap Companies

On June 25, the SEC announced that it has ordered the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to act jointly to develop and file with the Commission a national market system plan...more

Reverse Churning

It is obvious that broker-dealers and their registered representatives, as well as investment advisors, must be careful in making recommendations to their clients. But the rise of claims related to inaction in a client...more

SEC Announces Order for Tick Size Pilot Plan

On June 25, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it had ordered the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) to act jointly to develop...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 26

In this issue: - Delaware Fee-Shifting Legislation Delayed - SEC Orders Securities Exchanges and FINRA to Develop Tick Size Pilot Plan - CFTC Extends Relief to FCMs from Certain Commingling...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending June 27, 2014)

The Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in Halliburton. While the Court declined to overrule Basic and its presumption of reliance based on the fraud-on-the-market theory, it did alter existing practice....more

SEC Orders Tick Size Pilot Program

The SEC has announced that it ordered the national securities exchanges and the FINRA to develop and file a plan to implement a targeted 12 month pilot program that will widen tick sizes for specified small-cap stocks. The...more

Structured Thoughts: Volume 5, Issue 5 - June 25, 2014

In This Issue: - The 1996 Morgan Stanley Letter: Re-imagined at the Age of 18 - Structured CDs – Goodbye Regulation DD, Hello Regulation DD - FCA Issues Fine in Relation to Structured Product...more

SEC Orders Exchanges and FINRA to Submit Tick Size Pilot Program

The SEC has ordered registered securities exchanges and FINRA to submit a tick size pilot program within 60 days. The order specifies that the control group will be quoted at the current tick size increment, $0.01 per share,...more

Commissioner Rings Pension Fund Tocsin

In a speech given late last month, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher warned that “for years, state and local governments have used lax governmental accounting standards to hide the yawning chasm in their balance sheets.” ...more

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