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Archives: SEC Settlements: Policy, Issues and Disputes

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World’s top banks plead guilty to gaming foreign-currency markets

Scandal roiled the banking industry Wednesday as four of the world’s largest banks — Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland — pleaded guilty to federal antitrust violations for conspiring to manipulate foreign-currency markets over the course of several years. The scheme involved collusion by traders at the various banks to fix the … Continue Reading

FCPA officials point to dollars-and-cents benefits to self-disclosure and cooperation

High ranking officials in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on March 12 that companies that fail to self-report overseas bribes will face tougher Foreign Criminal Practices Act (FCPA) fines. While speaking at the Georgetown Law Center Corporate Counsel Institute in Washington, Patrick Stokes, deputy chief of the DOJ’s FCPA … Continue Reading

SEC Charges Pfizer and Wyeth with FCPA Violations

On August 7, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) charged Pfizer Inc. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  The SEC Complaint alleges that employees and agents of Pfizer’s subsidiaries in Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Serbia made improper payments to foreign officials to obtain regulatory and formulary approvals, … Continue Reading

Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami testifies before Congress on the SEC’s “Neither-Admit-Nor-Deny” Settlement Policy

The past week has been a busy one for those following the debate over the SEC’s policy of accepting a settlement without an admission or denial of the facts. On Monday, the SEC and Citigroup filed their briefs defending the "neither-admit-nor-deny" policy in the appeal of Judge Rakoff’s Opinion and Order refusing to approve their … Continue Reading

The SEC v. Citigroup Appeal: SEC and Citigroup File Their Briefs Explaining Why Judge Rakoff’s Opinion Should Be Vacated

On Monday, May 14, 2012, both the SEC and the Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. filed their appellate briefs (available here and here) in the three consolidated appeals regarding Judge Jed Rakoff’s November 28, 2011 Opinion and Order rejecting the SEC’s proposed settlement with Citigroup. Both entities argued that Judge Rakoff committed error in his Opinion … Continue Reading

The SEC Settles a Case With an Executive at United Commercial Bank, But Gives Him Credit For His Substantial Assistance

On March 27, 2012, the SEC announced that it has sued John Cinderey, a former executive vice president at United Commercial Bank for aiding and abetting securities law violations relating to falsifying books and records and misleading the bank’s auditors. The Commission settled with Mr. Cinderey, who agreed to be permanently enjoined from violating provisions … Continue Reading

Citing The Example of an AXA Rosenberg Executive, the SEC Provides Regarding How Individuals May Receive Credit Under the SEC’s Cooperation Initiative

Normally, when the SEC posts a Litigation Release on its website, it announces a new case which it has filed, or settlement or judgment in a previously-announced case. One of the SEC’s Litigation Releases posted on March 19, 2012 was unique in that it did not announce any of those usual events, but instead was … Continue Reading

SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets: Second Circuit Stays District Court Proceedings For Duration of Appeal and Directs the Clerk to Appoint Counsel to Advocate Upholding the Judge Rakoff’s Ruling

This morning, the Second Circuit’s Motion Panel granted the SEC’s motion to stay the District Court proceedings in the litigation against Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. while the appellate court considers whether it should set aside Judge Rakoff’s decision refusing to approve the settlement between the parties. Specifically, the Court of Appeals found that the Commission … Continue Reading

New York Times Article Finds Hundreds of Instances When the SEC Waives Certain Sanctions For Big Wall Street Institutions

An article in today’s New York Times reports that over the last decade a number of large Wall Street companies, including JPMorganChase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have avoided certain punishments specifically aimed at fraud cases and continued to have certain advantages reserved for the most dependable companies. According to Edward Wyatt’s article, there … Continue Reading

SEC v. Koss Corporation: SEC’s Explanation Regarding Settlement Language “Satisfies” Judge Randa

In a letter dated February 1, 2012 to the parties, Judge Rudolph Randa stated that the SEC’s Brief responding to certain questions the Court had raised regarding the language of the proposed settlement with Koss Corporation ("Koss") and Michael Koss "largely satisfies the Court’s concerns." As a result, the SEC will avoid the issues it … Continue Reading

SEC v. Koss Corporation: The Commission Responds to Judge Randa’s Questions Regarding the Whether the Proposed Settlement is Fair, Reasonable and Adequate

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, the SEC filed a Memorandum which defended the proposed settlement with Koss Corporation ("Koss") and its CEO. The Commission’s Memorandum was filed after a Wisconsin federal judge, Rudolph Randa, issued a letter order on December 20, 2011, directing the Commission to "provide a written factual predicate for why it believes … Continue Reading

Business Roundtable Files an Amicus Brief in the Citigroup Litigation, Asking the Second Circuit To Reverse Judge Rakoff

On Thursday, January 12, 2012, Business Roundtable ("BRT"), the association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, requested leave to file an Amicus Brief in the SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. appeal, requesting that the Second Circuit reject the "potentially dangerous, approach to reviewing settlement agreements" in Judge Jed Rakoff’s November 28, 2011 … Continue Reading

SEC Changes Settlement Policy Impacting the “Neither-Admit-Nor-Deny” Standard in Cases With Parallel Criminal Proceedings

According to media reports, the SEC decided last week that it will no longer allow defendants who plead guilty in criminal proceedings to settle parallel civil charges with the Commission by neither admitting or denying the allegations. At the present, the policy shift applies only in those cases where there has been an admission of … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Issues a New Order Criticizing the SEC in the Citigroup Litigation as SEC Files A Petition for Writ of Mandamus and Submits Additional Briefing to the Second Circuit

The participants in the Citigroup litigation did not take much of a break during the holidays. As discussed here, on December 27, 2011, Judge Rakoff denied the SEC’s request to stay the litigation. As it turns out, the Commission did not even wait for that order – it appears that the SEC’s Motion for an … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Grants Temporary Stay in Citigroup Case

On Wednesday, December 28, 2011, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the SEC’s case against Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (which is before Judge Rakoff in New York). The appellate court received an emergency motion for a stay after Judge Rakoff denied the request made at the District Court level. That emergency motion is to … Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Issues Report Calling For Changes To “Transform” the SEC

In a 135-page report issued entitled "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: A Roadmap for Transformational Reform" issued on December 14, 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness expanded on the incremental changes it proposed in a 2009 report, saying that "extraordinary steps are needed to achieve change." The Report, which was … Continue Reading

SEC Issues Statement Defending The Citigroup Settlement Rejected by the Court

Following yesterday’s sharply worded Opinion from Judge Rakoff rejecting the $285 million settlement with Citigroup Global Markets (discussed here), Robert Khuzami, the SEC Director of the Division of Enforcement, issued a statement (available here) claiming that Court "ignore[d] decades of established practice throughout federal agencies and decisions of the federal courts." Mr. Khuzami stated that … Continue Reading

Judge Rakoff Rejects Settlement in SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets as “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest” and Sets Trial For Summer 2012

In a scathing Opinion and Order issued on Monday, November 28, 2011, Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the SEC proposed settlement with Citigroup Global Markets for $285 million, suggesting the SEC was hoping for "a quick headline" and finding "that the proposed Consent Judgment is neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest." … Continue Reading