from Alison Frankel:

Accused lawyer says SEC has no power to police alleged pay-to-play scheme

March 15, 2016

(Reuters) - Remember Robert Crowe, the Nelson Mullins partner and pre-eminent Democratic lobbyist who was targeted in a Securities and Exchange Commission fraud suit in January? The SEC, as I reported at the time, claimed Crowe felt so much pressure to hold on to State Street as a client that he illicitly steered $20,000 in campaign contributions to an Ohio official who controlled a contract State Street wanted to be awarded. The SEC characterized the arrangement as a pay-to-play scheme, accusing Crowe of securities fraud and aiding and abetting State Street's fraud.

from Breakingviews:

Congress’ insider traders finally out of excuses

November 16, 2015

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from Alison Frankel:

Unlike SEC, FTC makes quick fix to ward off ALJ constitutional challenges

September 16, 2015

(Reuters) - For the second time this month, a federal agency has declared its in-house judges are mere employees whose hiring is not addressed by the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. On Monday, four Federal Trade Commissioners denied LabMD's motion to dismiss the FTC's data security administrative proceeding against the cancer testing center, ruling that under the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' 2000 decision in Landry v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, its in-house judges are not "inferior officers' because their initial decisions are reviewed by the commission before becoming final.

from Alison Frankel:

SEC not entitled to deference in State Street fraud appeal – law prof

September 14, 2015

(Reuters) - When it comes to Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement litigation, the constitutionality of in-house proceedings is dominating journalists’ coverage (including mine). Former SEC officials, though, are dedicating a lot of attention of late to a less sexy – but perhaps more lastingly significant – question: Can the SEC redefine the parameters of securities fraud through a final determination in an enforcement action?

from Alison Frankel:

SCOTUS history backs 2nd Circuit insider trading opinion in Newman: law prof

July 17, 2015

The first day of August is the Justice Department's deadline for asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the most consequential ruling on insider trading in recent memory, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal's decision in U.S. v. Newman. You might think that seeking certiorari would be an easy decision for the government, since both federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have said the 2nd Circuit's Newman ruling will cost them cases because it restricts the definition of what constitutes a "personal benefit" for corporate insiders who pass along confidential information.

from Alison Frankel:

Why the SEC can’t easily solve Appointments Clause problem with ALJs

June 17, 2015

(Reuters) - It seems as though there ought to be an easy way for the Securities and Exchange Commission to stomp out claims that its in-house judges are unconstitutionally appointed through a bureaucratic process, a defense theory that has spread as fast among SEC defendants as viral cute-animal memes on the Internet. But the SEC has so far avoided even addressing the potential consequences of that quick fix - perhaps because the solution isn't so simple after all. If the SEC changed the way it appoints in-house judges, the fix could call into question the outcome of scores of past and present SEC enforcement actions as well as cases at other regulatory agencies.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

Lessons learned: BHP Billiton fined for providing public officials luxury travel

June 3, 2015

By Julie DiMauro, Regulatory Intelligence

NEW YORK, June 3, 2015 (Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) - The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday charged global resources company BHP Billiton with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when it sponsored foreign government officials as guests at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

Finance, legal professionals question impact of OSC Whistleblower Program on ‘culture of compliance’

June 2, 2015

By Helen Chan, Compliance Complete

TORONTO, June 2, 2015 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) recently closed the consultation period on its proposed whistleblower program, but debate over the draft rules appears to be far from over. Finance and legal professionals have raised concerns over the program, particularly the absence of requiring eligible whistleblowers to report misconduct to internal compliance personnel prior to approaching the OSC.
Modeled after the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the OSC's Whistleblower Program seeks to encourage individuals with information of financial misconduct at their firms to come forward.

from Alison Frankel:

SEC commissioners order affidavits on hiring of in-house judges

May 28, 2015

(Reuters) - The commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission seem to think there may just be something to the latest defense arguments that its in-house administrative law judges are unconstitutional.

from Financial Regulatory Forum:

Former U.S. CFTC chair criticizes Volcker call to merge agency with SEC

May 20, 2015

A former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has questioned Paul Volcker's call to merge U.S. regulatory agencies under the leadership of the Federal Reserve.