Securities

  • May 21, 2020

    Merrill Lynch Traders Can't Avoid Spoofing, Fraud Charges

    An Illinois federal judge refused Wednesday to dismiss indictments against two former Merrill Lynch traders accused of a yearslong scheme to spoof the precious metals futures market, saying prosecutors had adequately argued the traders intended to manipulate the market.

  • May 21, 2020

    $7M Oral Settlement In Contract Row Stands At NJ Court

    A New Jersey state appeals court on Thursday said a commodity supply chain company could not escape a roughly $7.6 million judgment against the business and a related entity in their suit against a former executive, finding that a trial court properly concluded that the parties had an enforceable oral settlement agreement.

  • May 21, 2020

    Chancery OKs $15.6M Deal Ending SeaWorld 'Blackfish' Suit

    SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and stockholders secured Delaware Chancery Court approval Thursday for a $15.6 million total settlement ending a suit alleging the company's directors, officers and investors mishandled the fallout from a critical 2013 documentary on SeaWorld's treatment of killer whales and their trainers.

  • May 21, 2020

    Akorn Heads Into Ch. 11 For Sale With More Than $1B In Debt

    Specialty pharmaceutical business Akorn Inc. predictably limped into Delaware Bankruptcy Court late Wednesday with Chapter 11 plans for a more than $1 billion all-asset sale, trailed by troubles that include a potential $70 million-plus Chancery Court judgment over a botched merger and credit default threats.

  • May 20, 2020

    1st Circ. Affirms Ex-State Street Exec's Fraud Convictions

    The First Circuit found Wednesday that a former State Street Corp. executive used domestic, rather than international, wires when he stole millions from clients by sneaking in undisclosed fees on massive transactions and rejected his bid to overturn a wire fraud conviction based on extraterritoriality issues.

  • May 20, 2020

    Fla. Judge Keeps Most Of $3.1M Legal Investment Fraud Case

    A Florida federal judge trimmed an accounting claim from a $3.1 million suit over a legal industry investment scheme Wednesday but preserved the bulk of the case, including several fraud and negligence claims brought against one of the alleged perpetrators.

  • May 20, 2020

    Firms Ask 11th Circ. To Lift Block On Fee Claim In Fraud Case

    Law firms Leon Cosgrove LLP and Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP told the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday that a lower court erred by approving a prohibition against their pursuing payment from an insurance company when it signed off on a settlement agreement in an SEC fraud suit against their former client.

  • May 20, 2020

    Senate Passes Bill To Boot Chinese Cos. From US Exchanges

    The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would tighten requirements for foreign companies hoping to sell shares in America and, as its sponsor put it, "kick deceitful Chinese companies off U.S. exchanges."

  • May 20, 2020

    Canadian Pot Co. Sundial Escapes NY Securities Suit

    Canadian marijuana company Sundial has escaped a proposed shareholder class action, after a New York state judge ruled that the company gave investors ample warnings about the risks involved and determined that statements touting a "premium" cannabis product were not materially misleading.

  • May 20, 2020

    Investors Hit Trucking Co. Ryder System With Stock-Drop Suit

    Transportation and logistics company Ryder System Inc. was hit with a proposed class suit Wednesday claiming the business overstated the value of its truck assets, inflating its stock price, which then took a hit once the company adjusted the values.

  • May 20, 2020

    SEC Says Alta Mesa Ch. 11 Can't Release Fraud Claims

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a Texas bankruptcy court Wednesday to reject the legal releases in oil and gas driller Alta Mesa Resources Inc.'s Chapter 11 plan, saying they would improperly allow the company and its executives to escape securities fraud claims.

  • May 20, 2020

    Chicago Atty Can't Dodge SEC's Tidied-Up EB-5 Fraud Suit

    An Illinois federal court on Tuesday denied a Chicago-based immigration attorney's bid to dismiss the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's updated lawsuit accusing him of defrauding foreign investors seeking EB-5 visas.

  • May 20, 2020

    Levi & Korsinsky, Rosen Fight To Lead Tilray Shareholder Suit

    The Rosen Law Firm PA and Levi & Korsinsky LLP traded spars while vying to represent a proposed class of investors in a stock-drop suit against the Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray Inc., saying their clients should each serve as lead plaintiffs in the case.

  • May 20, 2020

    New CFTC Policy Offers 'Road Map' On Enforcement Penalties

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's enforcement division issued its first public guidance on civil monetary penalties in more than 25 years on Wednesday, promoting what it called transparency in penalty determinations and outlining a three-pronged approach that staff will be bound to in their assessments.

  • May 20, 2020

    Advocacy Groups Decry New Trump Deregulatory Move

    Environmental and other advocacy groups say more harm than good will come from President Donald Trump's executive order that instructs agencies to work faster to reduce regulations and cut more red tape to help the economy rebound.

  • May 20, 2020

    2nd Circ. Affirms Defeat Of DeVry Insider-Trading Suit

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a New York federal judge's decision that an unnamed DeVry University investor, an investment adviser and two portfolio managers are not considered a central group of "corporate insiders," a designation that a shareholder argued would allow him to reclaim funds lost in short-swing trades.

  • May 20, 2020

    Inside Trader Wins Early Release Due To COVID-19 Concerns

    A New York federal judge granted compassionate release over COVID-19 concerns to an asthmatic French jeweler who traded on an inside tip from former Standard & Poor's analyst Sebastian Pinto-Thomaz, reversing an earlier decision denying the jeweler's request.

  • May 20, 2020

    Sears Investor Didn't Show Insider 'Group,' 2nd Circ. Says

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday sided with a Manhattan federal judge who tossed a Sears shareholder's suit claiming an investment adviser's clients improperly profited from short-term trades of the company's stock.

  • May 20, 2020

    Pot Co. Investor Says Shady Debt Deals Led To Default

    The largest shareholder in iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. has slapped the cannabis company with a securities fraud suit in New York federal court, alleging the firm's ravenous appetite for debt and a former executive's self-dealing destroyed its market value.

  • May 20, 2020

    Cboe Investors To Take VIX Manipulation Loss To 7th Circ.

    Investors suing over alleged manipulation of the Chicago Board Options Exchange's volatility index signaled Tuesday that they're following through with plans to challenge the exchange's escape from claims that it knew about the allegedly anti-competitive scheme.

  • May 20, 2020

    IRobot Says Tariffs, Trade Uncertainty Caused Stock Drop

    Roomba vacuum maker iRobot Corp. and its executives are seeking to shed a proposed securities class action they face in Massachusetts federal court, telling a judge Wednesday that the company's stock prices were impacted by tariffs and "unprecedented" uncertainty about trade tension between the U.S. and China.

  • May 20, 2020

    NY Courts To Allow New Lawsuits Next Week

    New York will allow new lawsuits to be electronically filed statewide starting Monday, reopening the high-traffic courts of New York City and surrounding counties to new "nonessential" matters for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut them down.

  • May 20, 2020

    Freshfields Forms German Ethics Panel After Tax Scandal

    The German practice of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has said it is forming an ethics committee and will create a formal code of ethics in a push to rebuild the company's reputation after it came under scrutiny during a tax evasion scandal.

  • May 19, 2020

    BitMEX Racketeering And Manipulation 'Staggering,' Suit Says

    Large crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is facing a lawsuit in California federal court alleging the company engaged in "truly staggering" unlawful activities including racketeering and cryptocurrency manipulation.

  • May 19, 2020

    Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker To Be Sentenced Via Video

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday ordered a former Goldman Sachs banker's sentencing for insider trading to proceed via videoconference, noting that "delaying every sentencing would multiply the existing backlog of cases in the federal court system and generate a deluge of hearings once in-person proceedings can safely resume."

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From SEC's Bribery Claim Against Ex-Goldman Exec

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recent charge against a former Goldman Sachs U.K. executive over his role in a bribery scheme illustrates the importance of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act diligence that goes beyond representations of employees and others with an interest in a transaction, say John Murray and Shrutih Tewarie at Foley Hoag.

  • What Investors May Now Want Public Companies To Disclose

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    The virtual meeting of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Investor Advisory Committee earlier this month may shed light on additional actions the SEC could consider regarding the type of information public companies should provide to investors about the impact of COVID-19, say attorneys at Baker McKenzie.

  • SEC Financial Accounting And Disclosure In COVID-19's Wake

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    Attorneys at Proskauer and Credibility International's president identify accounting and disclosure issues the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is most likely to examine post-crisis, and suggest some steps corporate issuers can take now to minimize regulatory scrutiny down the road. 

  • A Creative Solution For Teaching Local Practice In Law School

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    To help prepare my students to navigate local practice, I wrote a set of rules for the classroom that mimics those they might encounter from a local judge or court, says Michael Zuckerman at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

  • Making Law Firm Panels Work For The Cost-Conscious GC

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    General counsel may be tempted to resort to matter-level requests for proposals in the wake of the COVID-19 economic crisis, but alternatively, a singular, global RFP process — to select a panel of law firms for all legal needs — can reduce legal spend while fostering long-term relationships, say Vivek Hatti, formerly at Avis Budget Group, and Jaron Luttich at Element Standard.

  • Coffee Chain Fraud Spotlights Governance Issues Amid Crisis

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    The recent Luckin Coffee accounting fraud underscores the need for robust series processes and controls to prevent and detect financial misconduct as corporate growth slides and employment falls, say professionals at K2 Intelligence.

  • #MeToo's Unexpected Implications For Shareholder Litigation

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    Attorneys at Debevoise discuss forms of shareholder litigation arising from the #MeToo movement, some early cases expressing skepticism of the claims, and recent actions that suggest renewed interest by plaintiffs and increased risk for companies.

  • Distressed Debt Tax Opportunities For Foreign Investors

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    Foreign investors can earn tax-free interest income on distressed debt issued by U.S. companies, as long as they steer clear of income classification pitfalls, says Seth Entin at Holland & Knight.

  • Insider Trading Windows Bring New Risks During Crisis

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    Public companies considering ending their quarter-end blackout periods for stock trading by insiders should beware that information not ordinarily deemed material nonpublic information for insider trading purposes could be viewed differently during the pandemic, say attorneys at Bryan Cave.

  • Pandemic Presents Teamwork Test For Law Firms

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    To ensure smooth operations during these uncertain times, all members of the law firm team — leaders and partners, diversity and talent professionals, associates and other staff members — need to commit to their unique roles and intensify support for colleagues, says Manar Morales, president and CEO at the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

  • 10 Tips For Virtual Hearings Before Regulatory Agencies

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    A virtual regulatory hearing may involve unfamiliar and glitchy technology — and without the benefit of interpersonal contact with the judge, commissioners or staff, it can feel like talking to an empty room. Tara Kaushik at Holland & Knight offers keys to better online hearings, culled from her own recent experience.

  • How To Fight 'Relief Defendant' Status In SEC Actions

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    As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's potential to pursue nonculpable third parties as so-called relief defendants increases following pandemic-caused market disruptions, anyone facing such claims should ask three key questions, say attorneys at Baker McKenzie.

  • Flurry Of SEC Activity Shows Interest In ESG Terminology

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recent request for comments, along with examination letters and exam priorities, show the regulator is evaluating how to clarify the use of the terms "environmental, social and governance" and "sustainable" to describe funds under the so-called names rule, say Mary Beth Houlihan and Donna Mussio at Fried Frank.

  • SEC Proposal May Foretell Valuation Enforcement Focus

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's newly proposed Investment Company Act rule increases compliance demands on funds' fair value determinations, hinting that enforcement actions over improper fund valuation practices will be more intense than in the past, says George Talarico at Alaric Compliance Services.

  • 8 Tips For Retaining An Expert During COVID-19 And Beyond

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    Caroline Crump at Exponent and Natalie Baker Reis at Medical Research Consultants outline some strategies for creating a successful attorney-expert team, including unique considerations for pandemic-related closures and economic uncertainties.

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