Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Category Archives: Litigation

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SEC Chair Attempts to Reassure Compliance Officers That They Will Not Be Targeted

Posted in Litigation
Demonstrating the effect recent enforcement efforts have had on the industry, in remarks given in Washington, DC at a Compliance Outreach Program for broker-dealers, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White tried to assure compliance officers that the SEC does not intend to use its enforcement program to target compliance professionals.… Continue Reading

SEC Brings Complaint in $68 Million Affinity Fraud Scheme

Posted in Litigation
On July 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in connection with a $68 million affinity fraud scheme allegedly orchestrated by Bingqing Yang, through her wholly owned management companies, Luca International Group, LLC, Luca Resources Group, LLC and Luca Energy Fund, LLC (collectively, Luca Managers), with the help of Ms. Yang’s chief fundraiser,… Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Upholds Wire Fraud Conviction of Defendant Who Did Not Participate in Sending the Fraudulent Representations

Posted in Litigation
On June 9, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a Florida district court’s refusal to acquit Linda Deavers, an Indianapolis real estate broker, of four counts of wire fraud. In doing so, the Eleventh Circuit found that Ms. Deavers need not have sent fraudulent statements via email nor even know about… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Litigation
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, brokers for National Planning Corporation, admitted to trading on inside information in advance of four separate announcements between April 2009 and April… Continue Reading

Senator Elizabeth Warren Criticizes SEC Chair Mary Jo White for “Extremely Disappointing” Leadership

Posted in Litigation
In a letter dated June 2, 2015, Senator Elizabeth Warren described several “promises” that Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, had allegedly broken. Senator Warren focused on (1) the SEC’s failure to finalize Dodd-Frank rules requiring disclosure of the ratio of CEO pay to that of the median worker; (2) settlement… Continue Reading

Former Olympic Games Sponsor Settles With SEC for $25 Million Over FCPA Violations

Posted in Litigation
On May 20, BHP Billiton Ltd. and BHP Billiton Plc (BHPB), a global resources company that sponsored the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. The SEC found that BHPB violated the FCPA by failing to devise and maintain internal controls over a global… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Dismisses Suit Over FBI’s Wiretapping of Marital Conversations in Securities Fraud Investigation

Posted in Litigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wiretapping played an important role in the wide-ranging insider trading investigation and subsequent trials of Galleon Group LLC principals and traders. During his criminal prosecution, former Galleon trader, Craig Drimal, unsuccessfully moved to suppress evidence obtained via an authorized wiretap of his cell phone because of a failure to minimize… Continue Reading

Department of Justice Settles Virtual Currency Enforcement Action

Posted in Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies, Litigation
The US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California recently settled an enforcement action against Ripple Labs Inc., a Delaware corporation providing virtual currency exchange services. According to the settlement agreement, Ripple Labs was not registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money services business (MSB) pursuant to the Bank Secrecy… Continue Reading

District Court Dismisses Securities Class Action Against Electronic Arts

Posted in Litigation
The US District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice a securities fraud class action against Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and its officers, holding that the plaintiffs’ amended complaint failed to identify any actionable misstatements by the defendants. The court had dismissed the plaintiffs’ prior complaint in 2014 with leave to… Continue Reading

District Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Securities Class Action Against Urban Outfitters

Posted in Litigation
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently denied a motion to dismiss filed by Urban Outfitters, Inc. and its senior executives in a securities fraud class action. The court found that the plaintiffs’ claims were sufficiently particularized under the heightened pleading standard of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Honors Canadian Business Law’s Exclusive Remedy Provision

Posted in Litigation
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed dismissal of a counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty brought under Section 242 of the Alberta Business Corporations Act (ABCA), finding that only an Alberta court could provide the remedy provided by the ABCA, and thus the counterclaim failed to state a claim upon… Continue Reading

Judge Declines to Dismiss Spoofing Charges Against High Frequency Trader

Posted in Litigation
On April 16, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied a motion to dismiss “spoofing” charges against Michael Coscia, a high-frequency commodities futures trader, finding that the indictment was sufficient because it alleged that Coscia placed orders with an intent to cancel them. Coscia is charged with six counts of “spoofing”… Continue Reading

SEC Grants Compliance Officer $1.4 to $1.6 Million Whistleblower Award

Posted in Litigation
On April 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is awarding a compliance officer between $1.4 million and $1.6 million for voluntarily providing the SEC with information that contributed to a successful enforcement action. According to the SEC, the compliance officer reported the misconduct after “responsible management at the entity became aware of… Continue Reading