Case Study: SEC V. Apuzzo

Law360, New York (August 28, 2012, 12:49 PM EDT) -- In its Aug. 8, 2012, decision in SEC v. Apuzzo, No. 11-696-cv, 2012 U.S. App. at *23-24 (2d Cir. Aug. 8, 2012), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the pleading standard for alleged violations of aiding and abetting securities fraud in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions. Relying on a criminal case from 1938, the Second Circuit eased the burden on the SEC to establish aiding and abetting liability under Section 20(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Id. at *16-17; see 15 U.S.C. § 78t(e).

The Second Circuit held that to satisfy the “substantial assistance” prong of...

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