Securities Securities & Exchange Commission

News & Analysis as of

Annual Review of Federal Securities Regulation - The Business Lawyer, Vol. 70, Iss. 3

This Annual Review (“Review”) was prepared by the Subcommittee on Annual Review of the Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities of the ABA Business Law Section. The Review covers significant developments in federal...more

SEC Files It's First Robocop Cherry Picking Action

When the SEC announced it financial fraud task force and a related data initiative to facilitate the identification of situations where the company “cooked the books,” many dubbed the data program “Robocop.” While the SEC may...more

Happy Public Float Day!

If you are a year-end company, today is the end of your second fiscal quarter, which means that it’s just about time to calculate your public float to see if your reporting status has changed. Here are a few things to...more

SEC Proposes Significant Reporting Requirement Amendments to Form ADV

On May 20, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released several proposals, "Amendments to Form ADV and Investment Advisers Act Rules," that would require investment advisers to provide additional information on...more

Unregistered Broker Activity in EB-5 Capital Fund Raising SEC Imposes Cease-And-Desist Order

In an important development affecting the EB-5 financial community the SEC has imposed a cease-and-desist order with respect to fund raising activities conducted by two unregistered brokers and related persons in connection...more

California Brokers Plead Guilty to Insider Trading of Ardea Biosciences, Inc. Stock

On June 9, Chad Wiegand and Akis Eracleous, two San-Diego based brokers, pled guilty in California district court to trading in Ardea Biosciences, Inc. stock with inside information. Mr. Wiegand and Mr. Eracleous,...more

SEC Rolls Out First Wave of MCDC Settlements with Underwriters

Last Thursday, the SEC announced it reached settlement agreements with 36 municipal securities underwriting firms pursuant to its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative.  These settlements mark...more

SEC Publishes 11 Regulation A+ CD&Is

The SEC has published 11 Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations related to Regulation A+ — numbered 182.01 through 182.11 under Securities Act Rules. Highlights are: - Twitter is allowed for testing the waters! ...more

SEC Enforcement Defendants Descend on Georgia for Judicial Relief from the SEC’s Allegedly Unconstitutional In-House Tribunal

It is often hot in Georgia this time of year. In one particular Georgia federal court, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been feeling some of that heat on an issue of significant interest to subjects of...more

Broker-Dealers File Suspiciously Few Suspicious Activity Reports

Speaking at an anti-money laundering (AML) conference in February, SEC Director of Enforcement John Ceresney warned attendees that broker-dealers were under-filing suspicious activity reports (SARs). He said that...more

SEC Provides Guidance on Definition of “Spouse” and “Marriage”

The SEC has provided guidance on the definition of “spouse” and “marriage” in the wake of United States v Windsor. That case held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. As a result the SEC will...more

SEC Opens New Funding Options with Regulation A+

Regulation A+ goes into effect June 19, 2015, allowing funding of companies by non-accredited investors. Smaller companies can offer and sell up to $50 million of securities in a 12-month period, subject to eligibility,...more

SEC Announces First Wave of MCDC Underwriter Sanctions

The Securities Exchange Commission announced June 18 the first major wave of underwriter sanctions under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. The SEC sanctioned 36 municipal underwriting...more

SEC Requests Public Feedback On Exchange-Traded Products

On June 12, the SEC issued a press release announcing that it is seeking public comment on how it should regulate exchange-traded products (ETPs), on how broker-dealers sell the securities, especially to retail investors, and...more

Still Threatened: Arbitration Clauses in Securities Customer Agreements

In a report to Congress released in March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) takes aim at consumer agreements that require disputes to be resolved by arbitration. The CFPB generally does not have...more

Can “Bad Actors” Wave Goodbye to SEC Waivers?

The SEC has been thinking harder before waiving automatic disqualifications that the federal securities laws and regulations impose on so-called "bad actors." Without such waivers, companies may be barred from, among...more

SEC Staff Ready to Recommend Variable Annuity Summary Prospectus

William Kotapish, an Assistant Director in the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, recently stated that the SEC staff is prepared to recommend that the Commission adopt rules and forms authorizing a variable annuity...more

Regulators Compose New Music for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers

Federal regulators finally seem to be sharpening their pencils to achieve greater harmony between broker-dealer (BD) regulation and investment adviser (IA) regulation. In March, for example, SEC Chair Mary Jo White...more

Gallagher: SEC Should Not Alienate Chief Compliance Officers

Outgoing SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher explained his dissenting votes in two SEC enforcement actions against Chief Compliance Officers. Mr. Gallagher explained that in both instances, the Commission’s order states...more

Federal Regulation of Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities Redux?

When SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar recently cited "the need for the Commission and state regulators to focus on combatting fraud involving complex securities" including "equity-indexed annuities," he did not discuss...more

SEC Says Fantasy Stock Trading Violates Securities Laws; Charges Others for Selling Illegal Security-Based Swaps

The SEC issued an Investor Alert which says fantasy stock trading for small amounts of money can violate provisions of securities laws implemented by the Dodd-Frank Act. I bet the Congressional drafters of these provisions...more

SEC to Appeal Preliminary Injunction Blocking Administrative Proceeding

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, entered a preliminary injunction preventing the SEC from conducting an administrative proceeding in an insider trading matter. The...more

US SEC Seeks Public Comment on the Listing, Trading and Selling of Exchange-Traded Products

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a release (Release) on June 12, 2015 seeking public comment on topics related to the listing and trading of exchange-traded products (ETPs) on national securities exchanges...more

Sixth Circuit Changes Course on Proof Required to Show Protected Whistleblower Activity Under SOX

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) provides anti-retaliation protection to whistleblowers who engage in “protected activity.” To engage in protected activity under SOX, the whistleblower must provide information to the Securities...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Unregistered Broker-Dealers

A New York man has agreed to pay almost $4.5 million to settle charges by the SEC that he violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act by acting as an unregistered broker-dealer. According to the SEC, starting in 2010 Joshua A....more

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