SEC Launches Crypto Push

crypto

The Securities and Exchange Commission made three notable enforcement moves in the cryptocurrency world last week, clearly sending a signal to this Wild West part of the capital markets that the SEC wants to bring some law and order to town. First, the agency announced that it is adding 20 enforcement agents to its cyber…

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SEC Sues Vale on Dam Disaster

The Securities and Exchange Commission is bringing charges against Brazilian mining company Vale, accusing the company of misleading investors for years about the safety of dams it built and managed in Brazil, until the Brumadinho dam collapsed in 2019 and killed 270 people in one of the worst mining disasters in history. The SEC filed…

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FCPA Reminders From Stericycle

Stericycle, the global medical waste giant, has agreed to settle FCPA charges against the company for widespread bribery in Latin America, giving the rest of us another case with lessons about the risks of rapid international growth and poor corporate culture. The settlement was announced Wednesday. Stericycle will pay $84 million in penalties to the…

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Holding Lawyers More Accountable

lawyers

Corporate compliance and governance professionals often like to talk about the important role “gatekeepers” play in keeping an organization on the ethical path. Now an SEC commissioner is calling for new standards and accountability for some of the most important gatekeepers of all: corporate lawyers.  Commissioner Allison Herren Lee gave the speech on Friday, and…

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KT Pays $6.3M to End FCPA Case

KT

Compliance professionals have quite the FCPA case to consider this week, courtesy of the Securities and Exchange Commission hitting Korea’s largest telecommunications carrier with $6.3 million in penalties and disgorgement for all manner of corrupt practices in the 2010s. The company, KT Corp., has a long history of corruption. KT agreed to settle the SEC…

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SEC’s Interesting Remediation Example

lawyers

The Securities and Exchange Commission published a press release Friday afternoon that compliance professionals should welcome: news that a tech startup mired in financial fraud will not pay any monetary penalties, thanks to the company’s extensive cooperation and remediation.  We rarely see an announcement like this, where the SEC’s principal point is to discuss its…

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Study: SEC Tweeting Cuts Misconduct

twitter

Let it never be said that arcane bits of academic research have no relevance to corporate compliance! A grad student at Yale has found that regional SEC offices’ robust use of Twitter correlates to reduced insider trading, customer complaints against investment advisers, and financial misreporting. I came across this study last week — on Twitter,…

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SEC Charges Taxi Lender With Fraud

fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the head of a New York financial firm with fraud, saying he paid media consultants to write bogus stories and offered kickbacks to valuation firms, all to prop up a banking subsidiary that lent money to taxi drivers and held the cabbies’ medallions as collateral.  The driver of…

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JP Morgan, Part II: The Consultant Agreement

JPMorgan

Today I want to revisit that enforcement action against JP Morgan from last week, because there’s more here that compliance officers need to consider. We need to talk about the compliance consultant JP Morgan has to hire as part of its settlement. In our first post about this scandal last Friday, we looked at the…

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On Disclosure Controls and Rogue CEOs

Nikola Corp., a supposed maker of hydrogen-powered trucks and other vehicles, will pay $125 million to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company failed to prevent its now-indicted former CEO from making all sorts of baloney statements about the company’s prospects on social media. The SEC announced the settlement on Tuesday,…

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