Articles

SEC and NYU to Host Forum on Exchange-Traded Products

The Securities and Exchange Commission and New York University will host a forum in September to examine the fast growing market for exchange-traded products and its implications for investors.

The event, hosted by SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and NYU’s Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, will bring together regulators, industry members, and academics for a half-day dialogue on September 8.  It will kick off with welcoming remarks by Commissioner Michael Piwowar at 9:15 a.m. and conclude following remarks by Commissioner Kara Stein at 1:00 p.m.

Since the first exchange-traded product (ETP) was introduced in 1993, the ETP ... Read More

Former Pharma Company Accountant, Three Others Charged With Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an accountant and three others with insider trading on market-moving news about the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company where the accountant formerly worked.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in New Jersey, alleges that Evan R. Kita, a CPA and former accountant at Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc., tipped two of his friends with confidential information about the clinical trial results for Celator’s cancer drug and its acquisition by Dublin-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc almost three months later.  Celator's stock rose more than 400 percent in March 2016 when it announced positive results for its drug to treat leukemia, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals offered to pay a hefty premium in May 2016 to acquire Celator. 
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SEC Monitoring Market Impact of Hurricane Harvey

The Securities and Exchange Commission is closely monitoring the impact of Hurricane Harvey on investors and capital markets. Chairman Jay Clayton has mobilized agency resources to assist affected investors and market participants.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of people in Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey," said Chairman Clayton. "Agency officials have been and will remain in close communication with market participants and key market infrastructure providers, as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other regulators concerning the storm and its aftermath. We are also actively working with firms in affected areas to ensure that investors continue to have access to their securities accounts."

The SEC Divisions and Of... Read More

Fee Rate Advisory #1 for Fiscal Year 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that in fiscal year 2018 the fees that public companies and other issuers pay to register their securities with the Commission will be set at $124.50 per million dollars. The securities laws require the Commission to make annual adjustments to the rates for fees paid under Section 6(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 13(e) and 14(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The Commission must set rates for the fees paid under Section 6(b) to levels that the Commission projects will generate collections equal to annual statutory target amounts.  The Commission’s projections are calculated using a methodology developed in consultation with the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget.  The stat... Read More

Muni Bond Issuer and Underwriter Charged With Disclosure Failures

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a municipal financing authority in Beaumont, California, and its then-executive director have agreed to settle charges that they made false statements about prior compliance with continuing disclosure obligations in five bond offerings.

Also settling charges are the underwriting firm behind those offerings and its co-founder for failing to conduct reasonable due diligence on the continuing disclosure representations.

The SEC’s Enforcement Division uncovered the violations as part of a review of municipal issuers and underwriters that did not voluntarily self-report under the agency’sRead More

SEC Charges Investment Adviser With Defrauding Professional Athlete and His Wife

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged investment adviser Jeremy Drake with defrauding two clients, a high profile professional athlete and the athlete’s wife, by deceiving them about the investment advisory fees they were paying.  The SEC alleges that Drake went to elaborate lengths to conceal his fraud, including creating and sending false documents and masquerading as another person to corroborate his lies. 

The SEC alleges that Drake, then with Los Angeles-based HCR Wealth Advisors, deceived the clients for more than three years, telling them that they paid a special “VIP” annual rate of 0.15 to 0.20 percent of their assets under management when in fact they paid 1 percent.  Drake’s deception led the clients to pay $1.2 million more in management fe... Read More

Hedge Fund Adviser Charged for Inadequate Controls to Prevent Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that hedge fund advisory firm Deerfield Management Company L.P. has agreed to pay more than $4.6 million to settle charges that it failed to establish, maintain, and enforce policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent the misuse of inside information, including information about confidential government decisions.

The case relates to insider trading charges that the SEC recently filed against current and former Deerfield analysts, a political intelligence analyst who passed them information, and an employee at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

According to the SEC’s order, Deerfield conducted extensive research in the heal... Read More

Commission and Commission Staff Issue Updates to Interpretive Guidance on Revenue Recognition

The Securities and Exchange Commission today issued two releases and the SEC staff released a Staff Accounting Bulletin to update interpretive guidance regarding revenue recognition.

Consistent with developments in private-sector accounting standard setting, the SEC issued a release to update its guidance for bill-and-hold arrangements by stating that registrants should no longer refer to the criteria in Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 108, In the Matter of Stewart Parness (AAER 108), to recognize revenue for such arrangements upon the registrants' adoption of Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The release states that until a registrant adopts ASC Topic 606, it should continue referring to ... Read More

Banca IMI Securities to Pay $35 Million for Improper Handling of ADRs in Continuing SEC Crackdown

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that broker Banca IMI Securities Corp. (BISC), an indirect, wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, has agreed to pay more than $35 million to settle charges that it violated federal securities laws when it requested the issuance of and received American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) without possessing the underlying foreign shares.

ADRs are U.S. securities that represent shares of a foreign company, and for all issued ADRs there must be a corresponding number of foreign shares held in custody at a depositary bank.  Under “pre-release agreements,” brokers such as BISC may obtain ADRs without depositing corresponding foreign shares provided the broker owns or takes reasonable steps to determine that ... Read More

SEC Uncovers Wide-Reaching Insider Trading Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced insider trading charges against seven individuals who generated millions in profits by trading on confidential information about dozens of impending mergers and acquisitions.  Data analysis allowed the SEC’s enforcement staff to uncover the illicit trading despite the traders’ alleged use of shell companies, code words, and an encrypted, self-destructing messaging application to evade detection.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today unsealed criminal charges against the same seven individuals.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Daniel Rivas, a former IT employee of a large bank, was at the center of the alleged scheme, misusing his access to a bank computer sys... Read More

SEC Charges KPMG with Audit Failures

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that KPMG has agreed to pay more than $6.2 million to settle charges that it failed to properly audit the financial statements of an oil and gas company, resulting in investors being misinformed about the energy company’s value.  KPMG’s engagement partner in charge of the audit also agreed to settle charges against him.

According to the SEC’s order, KPMG was hired as the outside auditor for Miller Energy Resources in 2011 and issued an unqualified audit report despite grossly overstated values for key oil and gas assets.  KPMG and the engagement partner John Riordan failed to properly assess the risks associated with accepting Miller Energy as a client and did not properly staff the audit, which overlooked the ov... Read More

SEC Files Charges in Oil Drilling Investment Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two Tennessee men and an accomplice in Fort Lauderdale with allegedly defrauding investors they lured by false promises of high returns from an oil drilling investment opportunity. According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Savannah, Georgia, David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart Jr. orchestrated the $15 million scheme by recruiting and controlling a network of salesmen who offered and sold investors a stake in various companies purportedly using enhanced oil recovery techniques like fracking to extract and sell oil from wells in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Investors were allegedly promised profits of 15 to 55 percent per year for decades. The SEC alleges that Greenlee and Stewart weren’t registered to sell in... Read More

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