The number of SEC enforcement actions against public companies and their subsidiaries declined in the first half of FY 2018 compared to the comparable year prior period, continuing a sharp downward trend that began in the second half of FY 2017 and falling to the lowest level in years, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research, written in collaboration with the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business. Monetary settlements during the first half of fiscal 2018 also fell to their lowest level in years. The report, entitled “SEC Enforcement Activity: Public Companies and Subsidiaries, Midyear FY 2018 Update” (here), reports on SEC enforcement activity involving public companies and their subsidiaries for the first half of fiscal 2018, which ended March 31, 2018. Cornerstone Report’s May 15, 2018 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Public Company Enforcement Action Continue Steep Decline in First Half FY 2018

Among the many problems that have come to light in the current cryptocurrency craze have been problems relating to celebrity endorsements for initial coin offerings (ICO). In the following guest post, John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, reviews the highest profile examples of cryptocurrency celebrity endorsements, and then proposes a list of cryptocurrency caveats, for celebrities and for everyone else as well. A version of this article originally appeared on Cybersecurity Docket. I would like to thank John for his willingness to allow me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is John’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Ten Crypto-Caveats Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled Should Have Heard From Their Lawyers

Many readers undoubtedly saw the news last week of the enforcement action the SEC filed against Theranos, Inc., its founder, Chairman, and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and its President and COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Theranos and Holmes have settled with the agency, although the complaint against Balwani apparently will be going forward. The SEC’s action is interesting at many levels, and it has several important implications that should not be overlooked. The SEC’s March 14, 2018 press release about the charges can be found here. The SEC’s complaint against Thernos and Holmes can be found here. The SEC’s separately complaint against Balwani can be found here.
Continue Reading Critical Implications of the SEC’s Enforcement Action Against Theranos

Britt Latham
Brian Irving

In the following guest post, Britt K. Latham and Brian Irving of the  Bass, Berry & Sims PLC  law firm take a look at the SEC’s enforcement action track record under the Trump administration and take a look ahead at what may be next for the agency. I would like to thank Britt and Brian for their willingness to allow me to publish their article as a guest post. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Britt and Brian’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: SEC Enforcement Still Strong Under Trump – What’s Next?

John Reed Stark

One of the most interesting and arresting business stories of 2017 has been the astonishing proliferation of initial coin offerings (ICOs), as I discussed in a prior post (here). Readers who have been watching this story develop undoubtedly are aware that things have been moving very quickly recently on the regulatory front with respect to ICOs. ICOs suddenly are facing a very different regulatory environment. In the following guest post, John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, takes a look the recent regulatory developments and examines their implications. A version of this article originally appeared on Securities Docket. I would like to thank John for his willingness to allow me to publish his guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is John’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Which ICOs are Next to Get Caught up in the SEC’s ICO Dragnet?

On November 15, 2017, when the SEC Enforcement Division released its annual report detailing its enforcement activity during the preceding fiscal year, the report included a statement by the division’s co-directors detailing the division’s priorities for the coming year. As detailed below, the enforcement statistics in the report clearly reflect an agency in transition. The changes under the new administration are particularly apparent with regard to the agency’s enforcement activities involving publicly traded companies. The Enforcement Division’s annual report can be found here. The division’s November 15, 2017 press release about the report can be found here.
Continue Reading SEC Fiscal Year Enforcement Statistics Reflect an Agency in Transition

sotomayorOn June 5, 2017, in an opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a unanimous court, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the five-year statute of limitations applies to claims for disgorgement imposed as a sanction for violation the federal securities laws. The Court rejected the SEC’s argument that the statute of limitations was not applicable to claims for disgorgement. The decision provides greater certainty about the scope of potential liability for parties facing SEC liability. The decision is also important in light of the other securities law statute of limitations case that remains pending on the Court’s docket. The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 5, 2017 opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds Disgorgement Claims Subject to Five-Year Statute of Limitations

skarzynski 1In the following guest post, Tammy Yuen and Ted Carleton of the Skarzynski Black law firm review and analyze the May 9, 2017 Cornerstone Research report entitled “SEC Enforcement Activity: Public Companies and Subsidiaries, Midyear FY 2017 Update” (here), which details the SEC’s enforcement activity during the first half of the current fiscal year. I would like to thank Tammy and Ted for their willingness to allow me to publish their article on this site.  I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Tammy and Ted’s guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: SEC Enforcement Data: Midyear Review

SEC logoThe SEC’s enforcement activity so far this fiscal year trails the record levels in the 2015 fiscal year. According to a recent report from Cornerstone Research (here), the SEC’s enforcement activity through the end of the fiscal third quarter (on June 30, 2016) is eight percent below the activity levels during the same period in FY 2015, largely as a result of an activity decline in the third quarter. At this point, even if the agency is active in the fourth fiscal quarter, it seems unlikely that by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2016 that the agency’s enforcement activity will catch up to the prior year.
Continue Reading SEC Enforcement Actions Decline