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.

February 7, 2019

The founder and president of an online gaming company has been arrested and charged with securities fraud for allegedly defrauding more than 50 investors of about $9 million in a scheme that ran from 2013 to 2017. To execute the fraud, Robert Alexander allegedly lied to investors about his professional background, Kizzang LLC's financial condition, and the expected returns on investment. He then allegedly appropriated $1.3 million for his own use. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and millions in fines. SEC; USAO SDNY

January 29, 2019

Four public companies – Grupo Simec S.A.B de C.V., Lifeway Foods Inc., Digital Turbine Inc., and CytoDyn Inc. – have agreed to cease and desist orders, findings of violations, and civil penalties with respect to their failures to maintain internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).  Although each of the companies had disclosed material weaknesses in ICFR, the SEC found that they had failed to adequately remediate the weaknesses.  SEC

January 28, 2019

The Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC and its former owner Robert H. Shapiro have been ordered to pay $1 billion in penalties and disgorgement for operating a ponzi scheme targeting retail investors, including many retirees, through 281 related companies.  Shapiro was ordered to pay a $100 million civil penalty and disgorge $18.5 million in ill-gotten gains; the companies were ordered to disgorge $892 million.  SEC

December 26, 2018

Brazil-based Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A. will pay a $2.5 million fine to the SEC for violations of the FCPA arising from an illicit bid-rigging and bribery scheme among certain private Brazilian construction companies involving the construction of a nuclear power plant.  The SEC also found material weaknesses in Eletrobras' internal control over financial reporting.  SEC

December 26, 2018

Polycom, Inc., a San Jose, California based provider of communications products, has agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Polycom's Chinese subsidiary used its local distributors and resellers to make illicit payments to Chinese government officials in exchange for assistance in securing deals for Polycom products, with managers recording false details about the transactions.  SEC

December 26, 2018

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. has agreed to pay more than $135 million to settle charges that it improperly handled “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).  ADRs are securities that represent shares in a foreign company, and ordinarily require that a corresponding number of foreign shares be held at a depository bank. However, “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided that brokers have an agreement with a depository bank and the broker or its customer owns the required number of foreign shares. The SEC found that JPMorgan improperly provided ADRs to brokers when, in fact, neither the broker nor its customer had the foreign shares needed to support those new ADRs, a practice which can result in inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage. SEC

December 21, 2018

Advisory firms American Portfolios Advisers Inc. and PPS Advisors Inc., together with PPS's CEO/CIO, Lawrence Nicholas Passaretti, will pay more than $1.8 million to settle SEC charges that they improperly recommended mutual fund share classes that paid 12b-1 fees to the firms' representatives.  In addition, the companies misrepresented to customers that their advisors did not receive 12b-1 fees and/or only selected more expensive share classes when less expensive classes were not available.  SEC

December 21, 2018

Audit firm Crowe LLP and associated individuals have settled SEC charges arising from significant failures in audits of Corporate Resource Services, Inc., which went bankrupt in 2015 following the disclosure of $100 million in unpaid payroll tax liabilities.  The SEC found that Crowe's audit team identified pervasive risks in its audit of Corporate Resource Services, but failed to take required steps in response.  Crowe will pay a penalty of $1.5 million and retain an independent compliance consultant.  SEC

December 17, 2018

UBS Financial Services Inc. has agreed to pay a $5 million penalty to the SEC, and a $10 million penalty to the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), to resolve claims that it failed to file required Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for transactions suspected to involve fraud or with no apparent lawful purpose.

December 17, 2018

Bank of New York Mellon has agreed to pay more than $54 million to settle charges that it improperly handled “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).  ADRs are securities that represent shares in a foreign company, and ordinarily require that a corresponding number of foreign shares be held at a depository bank. However, “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided that brokers have an agreement with a depository bank and the broker or its customer owns the required number of foreign shares. The SEC found that BNY Mellon improperly provided ADRs to brokers when, in fact, neither the broker nor its customer had the foreign shares needed to support those new ADRs, a practice which can result in inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage. SEC
1 2 3 4 70

Learn about Whistleblower Rewards Programs

Newsletter

Subscribe to receive email updates from the Constantine Cannon blogs

Sign up for: