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SEC-FINRA Defense Blog
FINRA recently hit Interactive Brokers LLC with a $15 million penalty for alleged wide-reaching deficiencies in its anti-money laundering (AML) program, which spanned in excess of five years.   As a condition of the settlement, in which Interactive Brokers neither admitted nor denied the allegations, FINRA obligated the firm to put in place a third-party consultant’s...
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission has brought civil enforcement charges against Amir Bruno Elmaani, also known by his online moniker “Bruno Block.”  The SEC charges two categories of securities violations: (1) an illegal securities distribution of digital tokens, and (2) a scheme to enrich by minting unauthorized tokens at no cost and dumping them...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed charges against an individual for acting as an unregistered investment adviser and defrauding a Puerto Rico Municipality to the tune of $7.1 million in taxpayer dollars. The SEC alleges in its enforcement action that Eugenio Garcia Jimenez, Jr., in 2016, represented to municipal officials that he could invest...
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In its continuous efforts to identify and prosecute EB-5 investment fraud, the Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that it settled securities fraud charges against three Houston-area real estate developers alleging misuse of investor capital raised from approximately ninety Chinese investors under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Under the terms of the SEC settlement, the real estate developers agreed to repay the $49.5 million they...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently filed securities fraud charges against a self-styled penny stock promoter for conducting a manipulative trading scheme involving over ninety microcap stocks. The SEC’s complaint names Eric Landis of Virginia, and alleges he falsely represented to media buyers for microcap stocks that he would disseminate marketing materials for the securities through email lists with thousands of subscribers.  In truth, the SEC claims, his distribution lists...
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In light of the significant advances in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies and their increasing use in the raise of capital in our financial markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an official pronouncement concerning several of its recent enforcement actions in this emerging area to provide guidance to market participants. While the SEC has stated that it encourages technological advancements that benefit the...
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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission secured a court order effectively halting an ongoing securities fraud run by a licensed stock broker. In its Complaint, the SEC alleges that broker Sean Kelly utilized entities he controlled to raise at least $1 million in investment capital from 12 investors, which included elderly retirees, representing that he would use their...
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In a high-profile enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued and settled with Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of technology company Tesla, Inc., on allegations he made fraudulent statements in several tweets regarding Tesla’s intention to go private.  The SEC also brought charges against Tesla for failing to maintain required disclosure procedures and controls with respect to Musk’s tweets, which...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission this week filed charges against a securities broker for wrongfully using access to his clients’ securities brokerage accounts to enrich himself at the direct expense of his customers, a number of whom had invested retirement assets. In a continuing trend, the SEC discovered the purported fraudulent stock scheme using proprietary...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought insider trading charges last week against a NFL player and a former investment banker for trading on material, non-public information in advance of company acquisitions.  The pair allegedly utilized encrypted text communications and FaceTime discussions to engage in the claimed illegal insider trading. In its civil enforcement action, the...
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