Thursday, March 19, 2015
A reminder from the SEC, as it has charged eight officers, directors, or major shareholders for failing to update their stock ownership disclosures to reflect material changes, including steps to take the companies private.
Each of the respondents, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, agreed to settle the proceedings by paying a financial penalty.
More details are available at SEC.gov | Corporate Insiders Charged for Failing to Update Disclosures Involving “Going Private” Transactions.
The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox include veteran securities litigators, and former SEC and criminal prosecutors. For more information about the firm, and possible representation, email the firm or call 212-509-6544.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Monday, March 9, 2015
U.S. authorities are investigating whether a hacker is behind the online publication of a cache of Morgan Stanley's client data and not the financial adviser who was fired in connection with the breach, according to CNN and The Wall Street Journal
For more information, go to Morgan Stanley breach probe shifts to hacker from fired employee: WSJ
The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox, LLC include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We have decades of experience in securities litigation matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations, insider trading cases, securities arbitrations and class actions, nationwide. For more information call 212-509-6544 or send an email.
Monday, March 2, 2015
This argument is on its face outrageous, and an affront to the thousands of arbitrators who serve on arbitration panels. Coupled with the fact that customers win a significantly higher percentage of cases in FINRA arbitrations than they do in court, the argument is also specious, and self-serving.
There were hundreds of comment letters submitted, most of them from attorneys who spent their entire careers representing customers - for a percentage of the recovery. Their own bias in the process is clear, and there were many commentators who argued if we are going to assume that a former industry employee or attorney is biased, shouldn't we be assuming that attorneys who spend their time suing firms are also biased?
Let me repeat - I do not agree with this bias argument for a second. I have appeared before hundreds of arbitrators, and with a rare exception, I have found that FINRA arbitrators are dedicated to their role in the process, and are a fair and unbiased as anyone could possibly expect. I have appeared before one or two who seemed to be biased, but I have also appeared before judges who appeared to be biased.
Regardless, FINRA modified its rule proposal, and the SEC approved it. Industry employees are not public arbitrators. Attorneys who represent industry participants, and attorneys who represent customers against industry participants are also not public arbitrators.
Good for the goose is good for the gander? I suppose, but now we have the problem of a lack of qualified arbitrators. Think about it, at the urging of the customer attorneys, FINRA has just lessen the odds of having an attorney who has knowledge of the securities laws as an arbitrator in securities cases.
These attorneys can still serve as arbitrators, if the customer decides to use an industry panel. We will have to see how this plays out, but we can expect to see an increased cost for all parties, as the need for expert witnesses will substantially increase going forward
The rule approval is available at www.sec.gov/rules/sro/finra/2015/34-74383.pdf
The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We are all now considered to be non-public arbitrators, despite our decades of experience in securities arbitrations, Fortunately, our expertise is still available to our clients - brokers, advisers, and the truly aggrieved investor. For more information call 212-509-6544 or send an email.
A purported hedge fund manager in New York City has been charged with stealing money from his investors.
SEC Halts Colorado-Based Pyramid Scheme
Fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze have been announced against two operators of a Colorado-based pyramid and Ponzi scheme that promises investors extraordinary returns of 700 percent through a purported “triple algorithm” and “3-D matrix.”
New York-Based Brokerage Firm and CEO Charged With Committing Fraud During CDO Liquidation Auctions
A New York City-based brokerage firm and its CEO has been charged with fraudulently deceiving other market participants while conducting auctions to liquidate collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).
Brothers-in-Law in Louisiana Charged With Insider Trading
Insider trading charges have been filed against a former Fortune 500 company executive and his brother-in-law whom he allegedly tipped with nonpublic information ahead of the company’s merger.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The lawsuit is the latest challenge to an SEC practice that has been increasing since the passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
For more information, see SEC sued for using its own judges and our prior commentary on the subject:
With 100% Success Rate, SEC's Use of In-House Judges Questioned by Commissioner Piwowar
SEC Faces Challenges Over the Constitutionality of Some of Its Court Proceedings
Judge Rakoff Questions the SEC's Overuse of Administrative Proceeding
SEC's Use of Administrative Hearings Under Fire
The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We have decades of experience in securities litigation matters, including the defense of enforcement actions and SEC administrative proceedings, For more information call 212-509-6544 or send an email.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
After weeks of speculation, St. Louis-based Stifel Financial announced it has entered a definitive merger agreement to acquire Birmingham's Sterne Agee Group Inc. in a $150 million deal. Sterne Agee brings 730 financial advisers and independent representatives that manage more than $20 billion in client assets.
For more information, see St.Louis-based Stifel Financial to acquire Sterne Agee
Monday, February 23, 2015
In a speech on Friday SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar acknowledged that as a matter of "fairness," the SEC should draft guidelines to establish "which cases are brought in administrative proceedings and which in federal courts."
For more information, go to SEC's Piwowar Seeks Guidelines Governing When SEC Will Bring Cases as APs . (Hat tip to Securities Docket for alerting us to the speech.
The attorneys at Sallah Astarita & Cox include veteran securities litigators and former SEC Enforcement Attorneys. We have decades of experience in securities litigation matters, including SEC and FINRA investigations, insider trading cases, securities arbitrations and class actions, nationwide. For more information call 212-509-6544 or send an email.