Securities

  • December 18, 2014

    Vale Stuck Facing Trial In US Over Guinea Mining Rights

    A federal judge in New York on Wednesday refused to throw out a suit brought by London mining company Rio Tinto PLC accusing its rival Vale SA and an Israeli diamond magnate of bribing Guinean government officials to steal Rio Tinto's rights to a multibillion dollar untapped iron-ore deposit.

  • December 18, 2014

    FINRA Fines Wells Fargo $1.5M Over Customer ID Lapses

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday said it has fined two Wells Fargo & Co. units $1.5 million for failing to verify the identity of 22,000 customer account holders, all due to a software glitch that went undetected for nearly a decade.

  • December 17, 2014

    Broker-Dealer Execs Plead Guilty In $60M Bribery Scheme

    Two former executives of broker-dealer Direct Access Partners LLC pled guilty Wednesday to participating in a $60 million bribery scheme arising out of the company's transactions with a Venezuelan bank, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • December 17, 2014

    Countrywide Whistleblower Nabs $58M Over BofA Deals

    A former Bank of America Corp. executive whose tips about mortgage fraud led to two landmark judgments against the firm will receive nearly $58 million in whistleblower awards, according to recently released New York federal court documents.

  • December 17, 2014

    Avon China Pleads Guilty In $135M DOJ, SEC Deal

    Avon Products Inc. received court approval Wednesday for half of a $135 million settlement to end DOJ and SEC investigations over the beauty giant's business practices in China, as its unit based there entered a guilty plea to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act misdeeds.

  • December 17, 2014

    Madoff Trustee Gets $600M In New Clawback Settlements OK'd

    A New York bankruptcy judge has approved $600 million worth of settlements in clawback suits brought by the SIPA trustee for Bernard Madoff's failed securities firm and also approved the consolidation of two suits against would-be opt-outs from an earlier $7.2 billion deal with mega-investor Jeffry Picower.

  • December 17, 2014

    Divided SEC Fines Ex-State Street Execs After Reversal

    A divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week partly overturned a 2011 decision by an agency judge who refused to sanction two former State Street Corp. executives over a subprime bond fund they ran leading up to the financial crisis.

  • December 17, 2014

    Chanos Beats Wynn Resorts' FCPA Defamation Suit

    A California federal judge on Tuesday tossed casino mogul Steve Wynn’s defamation suit accusing short-seller James Chanos of saying at an invitation-only journalism conference that Wynn violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, ruling Chanos' opinions about casinos in Macau were much vaguer than that.

  • December 16, 2014

    Lockheed, Class Ready To Talk On Cusp Of ERISA Trial

    Lockheed Martin Corp. agreed Tuesday to settle with a class of retirement plan participants who accused the company of losing $293 million of their investment, ending eight years of Employee Retirement Income Security Act litigation that once made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • December 16, 2014

    U. of Phoenix Parent Beats Investors' Action In 9th Circ.

    A Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a shareholder securities fraud class action alleging the University of Phoenix's parent company made false statements about enrollment, revenue growth and its financial condition, saying the company's claims were lawful "business puffing" and weren't objectively false.

  • December 16, 2014

    Madoff Feeder Fund Beats Investors' 2nd Circ. Appeal

    The Second Circuit said on Tuesday that a Madoff feeder fund owned by insurance giant MassMutual Holdings LLC can't be directly sued by an investor that put $12 million into the historic Ponzi scheme because the feeder fund, Rye Investment Management, was damaged itself.

  • December 16, 2014

    Ex-Bond Trader Gets 2.5 Years For $9M Manipulation Scheme

    A former mortgage bond trader was sentenced in New Jersey federal court Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for a price-manipulation scheme that saddled a Bank of New York Mellon unit with more than $9 million in losses.

  • December 16, 2014

    Credit Suisse Not Liable For $340M Note Losses: 2nd Circ.

    The Second Circuit ruled Tuesday that Credit Suisse AG has no liability for $340 million in losses from leveraged notes it sold, finding there was scant chance that the bank's disclosures could be misunderstood by a reasonable investor.

  • December 16, 2014

    Fifth DBSI Exec Sentenced Over $150M Scheme

    Real estate company DBSI Inc. on Monday saw a fifth executive sentenced to serve time in connection with the $150 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by the bankrupt company, weeks after its former president was banned from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • December 15, 2014

    SEC To Drop Insider Trading Case Over Herbalife Stock

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday moved to dismiss insider trading charges against a man accused of using tips to illegally profit from the $1 billion short sale of Herbalife Ltd. by activist investor Bill Ackman, saying that “critical witnesses” were unavailable to testify.

  • December 15, 2014

    Cheniere Brass Keeping $300M In Shareholder Deal

    The sides in a lawsuit challenging Cheniere Energy Inc.'s executive stock grants asked the Delaware Chancery Court late Friday to OK a settlement that would allow CEO Charif Souki and five other executives to keep the roughly $300 million worth of compensation they've received combined over the past two years.

  • December 15, 2014

    Madoff Account Manager JoAnn Crupi Gets 6-Year Sentence

    JoAnn Crupi, who worked at Bernie Madoff's crooked firm for 25 years until its 2008 collapse, was sentenced to six years in prison Monday for crimes of greed, including tax and securities fraud, but a federal judge said she did not know her former boss was running a Ponzi scheme.

  • December 15, 2014

    BankAtlantic Hid Precrash Woes From Investors, Jury Finds

    A Florida federal jury on Monday found BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc. head Alan Levan guilty of violating securities laws by hiding weaknesses in the bank's commercial real estate portfolio from the investing public in the early days of the financial crisis.

  • December 15, 2014

    High Court Clears Air On Class Action Removal Disputes

    By handing a win to Dart Energy Corp. on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court not only crystallized that class action defendants don't have to provide additional evidence to support their bids to transfer cases from state to federal court, but also cemented the high court's authority to weigh in on removal disputes.

  • December 15, 2014

    JJB Sports Ex-CEO Gets 4-Year Fraud Sentence

    The CEO of former retail behemoth JJB Sports PLC was sentenced to four years in prison Monday in connection with fraud in transactions with a supplier, according to the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office.

Expert Analysis

  • Louisiana Weighs In On Double Derivative Action Debate

    Andrew R. Lee

    In a case of first impression in Louisiana, the state's Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal has recognized the procedural availability of the “double derivative” action, allowing minority members of a parent LLC to bring an action on behalf of the parent's wholly owned subsidiary LLC for wrongful acts against the subsidiary. The ruling follows case law from other states, including Delaware, say Andrew Lee and Brett Venn of Jones Walker LLP.

  • SDNY Widens Split On Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

    Michael Filoromo III

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York's decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC makes it the latest court to hold that Dodd-Frank only covers employees who report suspected violations of securities laws to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — the ruling reflects a deepening split on the issue among federal courts, say David Marshall and Michael Filoromo III of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Spotlight On SFO: Prosecuting In The Regulator’s Shadow

    Aamir Khan

    There remain serious questions on whether the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom is really best equipped to be prosecuting individuals relating to issues such as Libor and forex manipulation, which are already being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority and other regulators, says Aamir Khan, general counsel and the senior director for the U.K. and Europe at legal services firm Clutch Group.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Chancery Court Speaks To Underlying Reality of Influence

    John E. Sorkin

    In Zhongpin Inc. Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Chancery Court found the plaintiffs had pled sufficient facts to raise an inference that company founder, chairman and CEO Xianfu Zhu was a controlling stockholder — even though he owned only 17 percent of the stock and had not controlled the directors’ decision relating to his going-private bid. A greater willingness to cooperate in the transaction would have advantaged Zhu's ... (continued)

  • Blankenship Case Shows Perils Of Post-Crisis Assurances

    Jeremy Peterson

    Attorneys and executives would do well to take note of the recent federal indictment of Massey Energy Co.'s former CEO, which shows that, in at least some circumstances, relatively general and open-ended corporate statements can be the basis for criminal charges, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • A Year For Whistleblower Rewards And Protections

    Jason Zuckerman

    2014 has been a transformative year for the development of whistleblower law between whistleblowers obtaining record recoveries through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's whistleblower rewards program, the U.S. Supreme Court's Lawson v. FMR ruling and the strengthening of protection provisions in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, say Jason Zuckerman and Dallas Hammer of Zuckerman Law.

  • Key Changes To ISS And Glass Lewis Voting Guidelines

    Teri E. O’Brien

    Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. recently released updates to their respective voting guidelines for the 2015 proxy season. Paul Hastings LLP attorneys have mapped out the key changes.

  • Exchange Act Does Not Prohibit Big Boy Letters

    Susan F. DiCicco

    Companies weighing the value of no-reliance clauses in agreements have good reason to include them, as federal courts continue to enforce disclaimers of reliance in contracts between sophisticated parties, including in so-called “Big Boy” letters, say Susan DiCicco and Matthew Ladd of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Dart Cherokee Rejects CAFA Anti-Removal Presumption

    John Beisner

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company v. Owens resolved a lopsided split in the lower federal courts over the proper removal procedure under the Class Action Fairness Act — however, the high court’s closing remark that there is no anti-removal presumption in CAFA cases will likely be of even greater significance going forward, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.