Have a Claim?

Click here for a confidential contact or call:

1-212-350-2764

SEC Enforcement Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the United States agency with primary responsibility for enforcing federal securities laws. Whistleblowers with knowledge of violations of the federal securities laws can submit a claim to the SEC under the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, and may be eligible to receive  monetary rewards and protection against retaliation by employers.

Below are summaries of recent SEC settlements or successful prosecutions. If you believe you have information about fraud which could give  rise to an SEC enforcement action and claim under the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

January 13, 2020

San Francisco-based fund advisor Michael Rothenberg has been ordered to pay more than $31 million for misappropriating millions of dollars in client funds.  Instead of investing clients funds in emerging technology, the head of Rothenberg Ventures LLC allegedly funneled it toward personal business ventures and events, in violation of the antifraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  As part of the settlement, Rothenberg has also agreed to be barred from the securities industry for five years.  SEC

December 18, 2019

MetLife, Inc. has agreed to pay $10 million to settle charges of violating internal accounting control provisions of federal securities laws.  Of the two errors that resulted from these violations, one ran for 25 years and involved the improper release of reserves for annuitants presumed dead after minimal attempts to make contact.  A second error involved the overstating of reserves and understating of income related to a subsidiary's variable annuity guarantees.  In 2017, Metlife increased reserves by $510 million to correct the first error, and reduced reserves by $896 million to correct the second.  SEC

December 16, 2019

A Goldman Sachs executive charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been permanently banned from the securities industry and ordered to pay disgorgement of $43.7 million.  In order to secure lucrative business for Goldman Sachs, managing director Tim Leissner had allegedly directed a third party intermediary to bribe government officials in Malaysia and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  SEC

December 12, 2019

Two oil and gas executives have settled insider trading charges with the SEC by agreeing to pay nearly $6 million in civil penalty, disgorgement, and prejudgment interest.  The two, John Davidson and John Special, allegedly purchased shares of medical device company, Covidien PLC, upon learning non-public information about a potential merger with Medtronic PLC.  When news of the merger was officially released, investment accounts controlled by the men earned over $1 million in illicit gains.  SEC

December 9, 2019

Colorado resident Jeffrey O. Friedland and two companies associated with him, Intiva Pharma LLC and Global Corporate Strategies LLC, have entered into a $4.2 million settlement -- $2.1 million in disgorgement plus a $2 million penalty and prejudgment interest -- with the SEC, resolving charges that Friedland and his companies fraudulently promoted the stock of cannabis company OWC Pharmaceutical Research Corp.  Friedland and his companies were alleged to have misrepresented their ownership interest in OWC, as well as Friedland's compensation in OWC stock in exchange for his promotion of the shares.  SEC

December 9, 2019

Former U.S. Representative Christopher Collins, his son Cameron Collins, and the father of Cameron Collins’ former girlfriend, Stephen Zarsky, have settled insider trading charges with the SEC.  While serving on the board of Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., the elder Collins learned about the impending release of negative test results for a multiple sclerosis drug.  His subsequent disclosure to his son, and his son’s disclosure to Zarsky, led the three to sell $700,000 worth of Innate shares before news hit the market.  Defendants will disgorge approximately $700,000, and have pleaded guilty to related criminal charges.  SEC

December 9, 2019

Broker-dealer Jefferies LLC has agreed to pay $4 million to settle allegations of improperly handling pre-released American Depository Receipts (ADRs), a form of securities that represent foreign shares in a foreign company.  Despite knowing that requisite corresponding foreign shares were unavailable, Jefferies improperly borrowed pre-released ADRs from other brokers and failed to properly supervise personnel about these borrowing practices.  SEC

December 6, 2019

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”) has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve DOJ and SEC allegations that its subsidiaries engaged in a large-scale bribery scheme, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The alleged misconduct occurred over a span of 16 years ending in 2016 and involved approximately $45 million in bribes paid to a consulting party in Indonesia, $31.5 million paid to third parties in China, $4.8 million paid to a consulting company in Vietnam, $2.1 million paid to government officials in Djibouti, and $450,000 paid to a consulting company in Kuwait.  To settle charges, Ericsson has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and will pay a criminal penalty of over $520 million, as well as disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $540 million.  DOJ; USAO SDNY; SEC

December 5, 2019

Brand management company Iconix Brand Group Inc. and former top executives have agreed to settle SEC fraud charges by agreeing to pay at least $5.5 million.  The complaint against Iconix, former CEO Neil Cole, former COO Seth Horowitz, and former CFO Warren Clamen alleged that the executives profited off a fraudulent scheme that created fictitious revenue and concealed the company’s lackluster earnings, while Iconix failed to recognize false revenue and made false statements to the SEC.  Horowitz and Clamen have agreed to settle, while the charges against Cole remain pending.  SEC

November 15, 2019

Three whistleblowers who jointly submitted a tip to the SEC were awarded $260,000.  The information provided by the unidentified whistleblowers lead to a successful enforcement action against a fraud that targeted retail investors.  The whistleblowers were reported to be investors who were themselves harmed by the conduct.  SEC
1 2 3 4 77

Learn about Whistleblower Rewards Programs

Newsletter

Subscribe to receive email updates from the Constantine Cannon blogs

Sign up for: