Posts Tagged ‘SEC enforcement’

FCPA Issues Nick Microsoft $25M

Microsoft has agreed to pay $25.3 million to settle FCPA charges against subsidiaries in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey — the latest in a long line of cases where poor procedures to document sales discounts offered by local resellers paved the way for bribery of foreign government officials.  Microsoft will pay $16.5 million to…

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Conn’s Lesson on Management Estimates

Oh, look. Another accounting enforcement action from the SEC, where poorly designed internal controls led to management’s abuse of estimates. Everyone put on your shocked face.  The SEC settled a case on Monday with Conn’s, a rent-to-own retailer based in Texas with $1.55 billion in annual sales. Conn’s agreed to pay $1.1 million in a…

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SEC Offers Path to Ease Misconduct Burdens


Never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never ignore a regulator’s policy announcement dropped just before a long holiday weekend. SEC chairman Jay Clayton yet again proved how true that maxim is, with a statement on Wednesday opening the door to easier treatment of companies that violate securities laws. Clayton said that…

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Botched ICO: Self-Reporting Wins Again


Another week, another message that self-disclosure of corporate misconduct brings rewards. This time, the SEC let a tech company off with a regulatory wrist-slap after the firm confessed to conducting an unregistered initial coin offering. ICOs are all the rage these days among certain technology companies, whose founders probably read too much Ayn Rand in…

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The Many Lessons of Elon Musk


Corporate executives can learn a lot from the daring and vision of Elon Musk — just probably not in the way that Musk might prefer. His tenure at Tesla lately has become a living case study in how not to govern a large organization. That’s been the fundamental problem with Musk for quite some time:…

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Automation & Control Lessons in Latest SEC Enforcement


We have an interesting enforcement action from the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, where the agency dinged a telecom company and its former executives $1.9 million for misleading statements on revenue projections. The kicker: it looks like the company’s own sales automation software created the audit trail that painted the company into an enforcement…

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Fyre Festival Fraudster Flayed by SEC


Not really related to corporate ethics and compliance, but too good to ignore: the SEC just charged the three knuckleheads responsible for the Fyre Festival Fiasco of 2017 with bamboozling their investors out of $24.7 million. If you are fortunate enough to have forgotten about the Fyre Festival, let me recap. In 2016, wannabe New…

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Freudian Slip-Up Leads to SEC Charges

cco liability

Well this is crazy: the SEC busted a Seattle-area therapist today for insider trading based on information he picked up while in session with one of his patients. According to an SEC complaint filed today, Keith Peer, 43, had a patient in 2015 who was an employee at Zulily, an online retailer. Zulily was in…

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More Details on Regulators’ Proposed Staff Cuts

Criminal Division

The Justice Department has proposed trimming the number of Criminal Division prosecutors by 6 percent next year and overall division staff by 11.4 percent, according to the detailed budget the Trump Administration released earlier this week. The SEC, meanwhile, wants to keep spending level at $1.6 billion but trim staff in almost all of its…

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Lessons in SEC’s Latest Accounting Case


On Monday the SEC hit a Korean microchip manufacturer, MagnaChip Semiconductor, with a $3 million fine for accounting fraud—an extensive scheme to falsify revenue for several years, that wiped out more than two-thirds of the company’s value to investors. We have two lessons to learn here. First, even amid all the anti-regulatory fervor of the…

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