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November 5, 2020

The SEC awarded a whistleblower $3.6 million, stating that the individual had provided information that alerted the Commission to misconduct that was occurring abroad, and further provided substantial and ongoing assistance during the course of the investigation, traveling abroad at the whistleblower’s own expense and providing extensive supporting documentation.  SEC

November 5, 2020

A whistleblower received a $750,000 SEC award, with the Commission stating that the individual provided significant information that uncovered an ongoing fraud and assisted the investigation. SEC

November 3, 2020

An SEC whistleblower was awarded $28 million following an undisclosed enforcement action.  The individual internally reported information that prompted the company to initiate an internal investigation, and provided significant information that aided the SEC, including by testifying and identifying a key witness.  SEC

October 22, 2020

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and its Malaysian subsidiary, Goldman Sachs (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (GS Malaysia) have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ, and agreed to pay $2.9 billion as part of a coordinated resolution with authorities in the U.S., U.K., and Singapore.  Between 2009 and 2014, senior employees at the global financial institution directly and indirectly paid over $1.6 billion in bribes to government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, earning $606 million in revenue and an increased presence in Southeast Asia as a result.  Goldman’s managing director, Tim Leissner, was separately charged for his role last DecemberDOJ; USAO EDNY; SEC

October 22, 2020

The SEC has awarded a record-breaking $114 million to a whistleblower whose tip and substantial, ongoing assistance helped lead to successful enforcement actions by the SEC and another agency.  This is the highest award in the history of the SEC whistleblower program, bypassing the next highest award, issued in June 2020, by over $60 million.  SEC

October 19, 2020

Investment adviser representative Paul Horton Smith, Sr. of eGate, LLC and his companies, Northstar Communications, LLC and Planning Services, Inc., have been ordered to pay over $4 million in disgorgement and $383,000 in prejudgment interest for defrauding at least 35 investors of more than $5.6 million.  According to the SEC, Horton and his companies targeted retirees and pre-retirees in Southern California, promising them guaranteed interest payments but paying the “interest” with new investor funds.  SEC

October 15, 2020

The SEC will pay an unidentified whistleblower $800,000.  According to the SEC, the whistleblower provided information and detailed analysis that caused the agency to open an investigation that led to two successful SEC enforcement actions.  SEC

October 14, 2020

Brazilian investment company J&F Investimentos S.A. and is meat producer subsidiary, JBS S.A., along with their principles Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista have entered into a settlement agreement with the SEC and DOJ, agreeing to pay nearly $283 million in fines and disgorgement and plead guilty to resolve charges under the FCPA arising from a scheme to bribe government officials in Brazil in order to obtain financing and other benefits for the companies.  Defendants paid approximately $180 million in bribes to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in financing from Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled banks BNDES and Caixa, as well as to facilitate JBS’s acquisition of U.S. company Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation.  The bribes were allegedly paid from U.S. assets, including JBS operating accounts that also contained Pilgrim’s funds.  The SEC further charged that the Batistas, who exerted significant control over Pilgrim’s, caused it have an inadequate system of internal controls and accurate books and records.  The criminal fine of $256 million will be discounted up to 50% to credit defendants for a settlement with Brazilian authorities valued at $1.9 billion; the SEC agreement provides for a payment of $27 million in disgorgement and interest. Defendants also agreed to cooperate any ongoing or further investigations and implement an enhanced compliance program. DOJ; SEC; USAO EDNY

September 30, 2020

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC will pay a total of $10 million in civil monetary penalties to the SEC and CFTC.  In an agreement with the SEC, the company will pay a $5 million civil monetary penalty arising from charges that the firm violated the short sale procedures of Regulation SHO. Specifically, Morgan Stanley improperly used “long” and “short” aggregation units when it hedged synthetic exposure to swaps by purchasing or selling the securities referenced in the swaps.  The aggregation units were not independent and did not have separate trading strategies.  As a result, Morgan Stanley should have netted the long and short positions of both units together or across the entire broker-dealer and marked the orders as long or short based on that netting. The CFTC, which also imposed a $5 million penalty, charged that Morgan Stanley failed to comply with swap data reporting obligations, inaccurately reporting swap data for approximately three million swaps. SEC; CFTC
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