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SEC-FINRA Defense Blog
While the SEC has always prioritized insider trading investigations in its enforcement program, and publicly touts its successful cases when filed and settled, the truth is that many insider trading investigations simply do not see the light of day and are closed without enforcement action. The reason: insider trading is very difficult for the SEC...
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FINRA fined Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. $6 million and ordered disgorgement of almost $1.3 million in commissions for its sale of billions of unregistered shares in thinly traded microcap shares. FINRA also sanctioned the firm for failing to have in place adequate supervisory or anti-money laundering (AML) programs tailored to detect red flags or suspicious...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission charged this week “a known securities fraudster” with engaging in a new stock scheme after he was released from prison. According to the SEC, Edward Durante, after serving a 10-year prison term for securities fraud, commenced a new securities con by soliciting investments in a shell company he secretly controlled...
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Over the years, I have represented many securities brokers in promissory note, or employee forgivable loan, cases. There is no doubt that they are generally tough cases to defend — the stock broker received the money upfront, the promissory note requires repayment when the broker leaves the firm for any reason, and FINRA arbitration panels...
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When I was a young attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in the mid-to-late 1990s, the SEC did not have a formal cooperation program. There was thus no official means by which the SEC could either induce individuals to cooperate during the course of an investigation, or reward...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced a 7% increase in its enforcement actions for fiscal year 2015 over the previous year. The SEC filed 807 enforcement cases in 2015, up from 755 the prior year, and brought claims for disgorgement and civil penalties totaling approximately $4.2 billion, up from $4.16 billion in 2014. Of...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged two firms for acting as unregistered brokers in connection with $79 million in investments made by foreigners seeking United States residency through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The SEC sued Ireeco LLC, and its successor Ireeco Limited, in an administrative proceeding seeking cease-and-desist relief, as well as disgorgement...
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FINRA has considerably ramped up its enforcement efforts as of late to target those registered representatives who have failed to make the necessary disclosures on the Form U-4 with respect to the existence of tax liens, unsatisfied judgments, bankruptcies and “compromises with creditors.” Specifically, Questions 14K and 14M on the Form U-4 require a registered...
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In 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, enjoyed an “unprecedented year” in enforcement cases, not only in the numbers brought, but also in the types of cases investigated and filed. The SEC’s enforcement division brought 755 cases and collected an agency record $4.1 billion in 2014.  In contrast, the SEC brought 686 enforcement actions...
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The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, is increasingly receding from its historical position of allowing companies and individuals to settle SEC district court and SEC administrative proceedings on the basis of neither admitting nor denying the Commission’s allegations of wrongdoing. Instead, the SEC, through public pronouncements of its Chairman Mary Jo White, has made clear...
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