Securities

  • May 22, 2015

    Ex-NBA Vet, Film Cos. Strike Back In $45M EB-5 Suit

    Former National Basketball Association journeyman Theo Ratliff and various entertainment-related companies facing a $45 million suit over an unsuccessful EB-5 funding deal asked a Georgia federal judge on Wednesday to let them file counterclaims that might be time-barred when the suit, now on hold, resumes.

  • May 22, 2015

    Writ Voiding 'Squawk Box' Guilty Plea Forced Feds' Hand

    A Manhattan federal judge's use of a rare writ to erase former Merrill Lynch assistant Irene Santiago's guilty plea for lying in the Squawk Box securities fraud case may have been a valid exercise in sympathy, but its value as a possible precedent for use by less sympathetic convicts forced the government to have it knocked out on appeal.

  • May 22, 2015

    2nd Circ. Affirms Fraud Convictions Of McGinn Smith Execs.

    The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions and sentences of top-ranking McGinn Smith & Company Inc. executives, but blasted a New York federal judge for improperly allowing a letter written well before the alleged fraud occurred to be used in cross-examination.

  • May 22, 2015

    SEC Subpoenaed For Docs On Ex-Judge's Intimidation Claims

    An in-house judge at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered the agency to produce documents and correspondences related to a former SEC judge’s claims that she was pressured to rule in favor of the enforcement division.

  • May 22, 2015

    Texas Man Cops To $12M Fake Oil Interests Scam

    A Texas man accused of duping investors out of nearly $12 million by selling interests in oil and gas wells he never owned pled guilty Thursday to one count of mail fraud, according to prosecutors.

  • May 22, 2015

    Nordstrom Family Wants Plane Ride Suit Grounded

    The Nordstrom family on Thursday urged a Washington federal judge to ground a lawsuit accusing Nordstrom Inc. of hiding the cost of operating a fleet of private airplanes for the family, arguing a robust cost-checking system was in place throughout the time period outlined in the complaint.

  • May 22, 2015

    Ex-VC Exec Flees Amid Insider Trading, Fraud Charges

    A former Oak Investment Partners executive has fled the United States after being criminally charged with insider trading and separately accused of defrauding the venture capital fund's investors of $27.5 million, government lawyers said Thursday.

  • May 22, 2015

    Big Banks Never Stopped Rigging Forex Market, Suit Says

    The day after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $5.6 billion settlement with five big banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC and others are once again being accused of rigging the foreign exchange market, this time by a putative class of bank customers who claim the conspiracy continues to this day.

  • May 22, 2015

    Madoff Trustee Defends $900M Suit Against 1st Feeder Fund

    The liquidating trustee of Bernie Madoff's bogus investment firm on Thursday defended his clawback suit seeking $900 million from the two operators of Madoff's first feeder fund and their families, saying the pair were instrumental in growing the Ponzi scheme and concealing the fraud from government investigators.

  • May 22, 2015

    Del. Chancery Judge Tosses 'London Whale' Derivative Suit

    A Delaware Chancery judge on Friday nixed a pension fund's derivative suit looking to hold JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a slew of its officers and directors accountable for the 2012 “London Whale” trading fiasco, finding the plaintiff has no standing to bring the case since two nearly identical suits were already tossed out of New York federal court.

  • May 22, 2015

    DC Circuit Affirms SEC's 2nd Win Over Illicit Stock Sales

    The D.C. Circuit declined Friday to overturn a $7.5 million disgorgement order by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in an enforcement action against a Canadian stock promoter accused of defrauding investors, saying the agency correctly handled the application of a legal principle barring relitigation.

  • May 22, 2015

    SEC's Stein Blasts Waiver Grants To Felon Banks

    A top U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission member on Friday said she is concerned the guilty pleas the government extracted from five banks over benchmark rate manipulation have been reduced to mere symbolic exercises after her fellow commissioners granted the banks a fresh round of regulatory waivers.

  • May 22, 2015

    Fairway Says IPO Class Action Fails Under Omnicare

    Fairway Group Holdings Corp. has urged a New York federal court to toss a putative class action claiming the private equity-backed grocery chain misled investors ahead of its $159 million initial public offering, saying the plaintiffs’ claims fail under the Supreme Court's recent Omnicare ruling.

  • May 22, 2015

    Father, Son Who Worked At Madoff Firm Deserve Leniency: US

    Prosecutors are seeking leniency for a father-son duo who worked at Bernie Madoff's securities firm and cooperated with the government’s investigation into the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

  • May 22, 2015

    SEC Flexes Bigger FCPA Muscles In $25M BHP Billiton Case

    When it charged BHP Billiton Ltd. $25 million for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent a powerful message to corporations that it’s willing to impose hefty fines for compliance failures even when no bribery is alleged to have taken place.

  • May 22, 2015

    PwC Escapes MF Global Investors' Suit In 2nd Circ.

    The Second Circuit said Friday it would not resurrect a class action accusing PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of failing to properly audit MF Global Inc. before the brokerage firm spiraled into bankruptcy in 2011.

  • May 21, 2015

    HSBC Unit Wins New Trial In $2.5B Securities Fraud Suit

    The Seventh Circuit on Thursday granted a HSBC Holdings PLC unit a new trial in a securities suit that saddled its mortgage unit with a record $2.5 billion verdict, finding that the jury hadn’t considered how some true statements made by the company brass had affected its stock price.

  • May 21, 2015

    BNY Mellon To Pay $180M To Settle Forex Class Action

    The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. said Thursday it will pay $180 million to resolve a putative class action brought by institutional investors accusing the company of running a deceptive foreign currency exchange program, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • May 21, 2015

    Cayman Law Will Apply To Suit Over Offshore Refco Funds

    A New Jersey federal judge ruled Wednesday that Cayman Islands law applies to a lawsuit accusing a former Sphinx hedge fund director of improperly depositing $312 million into offshore Refco Inc. accounts days before the brokerage firm's high-profile bankruptcy, ruling that the case was contractually bound to the islands.

  • May 21, 2015

    Dismissal Of NY Suit Over Funds On Champerty Grounds OK'd

    A New York appellate panel Thursday upheld the dismissal of a mismanagement suit over hundreds of millions of dollars in losses against German bank WestLB AG on champerty grounds, or prohibition of bringing a lawsuit in exchange for a fee, finding that a safe harbor provision didn’t apply.

Expert Analysis

  • What Was Wrong With BHP Billiton's Compliance Program

    Lisa Prager

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell recently reiterated a common theme from enforcement agencies — having a written compliance program on paper is not sufficient. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's settlement with BHP Billiton Ltd. for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations is the quintessential case in point, say attorneys with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • Another Lesson For Private Funds On Expense Allocation

    Amy Ward Pershkow

    The recently settled Alpha Titans LLC case reinforces the increased scrutiny by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on private funds' management company expense allocations, and the SEC’s concerns regarding other abuses that may arise from expense allocations, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • A Route To Directors' Early Exit From Merger Litigation

    Kevin C. Logue

    It has become all too common in transaction-related stockholder litigation for the pleading net to be cast widely, embroiling disinterested and independent directors into long and costly litigation. The Delaware Supreme Court's decision in the case of Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. should lead to closer scrutiny of allegations against individual directors, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • What’s Missing From The SEC’s Forum Selection Guidance

    Thomas A. Hanusik

    In its recent guidance on forum selection, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission missed a golden opportunity — instead of addressing the legitimate and widespread criticism of its increasing use of the administrative forum, the SEC dodged the key issues and failed to make the forum selection process fairer to defendants, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • DOL Fiduciary Rules Will Negatively Affect Private Funds

    Robert J. Raymond

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rules expanding the circumstances under which a person is considered a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act would effectively deny sophisticated but smaller ERISA plans and individual retirement account investors the opportunity to access private investment funds as part of their portfolios, say attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • DOJ Is Trying To Show Benefits Of Corporate Cooperation

    Ryan Rohlfsen

    Recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases and commentary from U.S. Department of Justice officials illustrate possible costs, benefits and pitfalls in the disclosure and cooperation calculation, say Ryan Rohlfsen and David Nordsieck of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • How Cybercriminals Are Targeting Corporate Transactions

    Brent J. McIntosh

    Cybercriminals are increasingly deploying clever schemes to exploit company executives and their advisers in connection with corporate transactions, including financing transactions and mergers and acquisitions. These sophisticated schemes include emails that provide a closing or a litigation settlement that would seem wholly legitimate to the recipient, say Brent McIntosh and Judson Littleton of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

  • 10 Corporate Culture Lessons From Deutsche Bank

    Betsy P. Collins

    Regulators blamed Deutsche Bank's Libor-related misconduct on the culture within the bank, whose unsecured and permissive business model allowed egregious and pervasive misconduct to thrive. Fixing a broken corporate culture is hard and painful, and regaining a lost reputation for integrity is virtually impossible, say Betsy Collins and Mignon Lunsford of Burr & Forman LLP.

  • 'Bad Actor' Waivers Spark Opposing Views Within SEC

    Ike Adams

    Recent speeches by commissioners of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that waivers from the statutory disqualification provisions of the federal securities laws, which were once viewed as a foregone conclusion, may prove more contentious, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Why El Paso Will Have Very Limited Applicability

    Philip Richter

    Notwithstanding commentary suggesting otherwise, in our view, the recent Delaware Chancery Court decision in a derivative suit related to an El Paso Pipeline Partners LP “drop-down” transaction does not indicate that the court will be more likely than in the past to find liability of master limited partnership general partners or their bankers, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.