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Regulatory Violations

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to violations of rules and regulations government the financial markets and its participants. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/7/22
Top Ten Sign with Letters
As we recently detailed, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster year for whistleblowers under the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower ProgramsSeven of the ten largest whistleblower awards of 2021 were made to SEC and CFTC whistleblowers, including a massive $200 million CFTC award that was roughly twice as large as all prior CFTC awards combined.  In total, the SEC paid more awards—both in total dollars and individual...

January 3, 2022

Previous metals dealer Lear Capital, Inc., and its founder, Kevin DeMeritt, have agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit by the New York Attorney General that alleged the company fraudulently charged investors up to 33% in undisclosed commissions, in violation of state laws requiring commodity broker-dealers and telemarketers to register with the state.  As part of the settlement, Lear has agreed to begin providing clear and conspicuous disclosures of the fees, enhance its complaint tracking procedures, and provide better training to its personnel.  NY AG

January 3, 2022

Blockratize, Inc., d/b/a Polymarket has been ordered to pay a $1.4 million civil monetary penalty to resolve charges of violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.  According to the CFTC, Polymarket illegally offered over 900 separate off-exchange event-based binary options contracts, and failed to obtain designation as a designated contract market (DCM), or register as a swap execution facility (SEF).  CFTC

December 17, 2021

J.P. Morgan Chase entities, including broker-dealer J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, will pay a total of $200 million -- $125 million as an SEC penalty and $75 million as a CFTC penalty -- to resolve claims that firm employees communicated both internally and externally on unapproved channels, failed to preserve written communications, and failed to supervise.  Defendants admitted that employees, including senior and supervisory employees, regularly and openly communicated about business using personal devices, text messages, WhatsApp, and other private messaging, none of which were preserved by the firm, in violation of recordkeeping requirements.  As a result, J.P. Morgan entities were unable to provide information in response to subpoenas and information requests from regulators.  SEC; CFTC

December 15, 2021

Broker-dealer Wedbush Securities Inc. has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve allegations related to the unregistered sale of large blocks of 50 different low-priced microcap companies by Silverton SA, a former offshore customer.  The SEC also found that Wedbush failed to file SARs for certain suspicious transactions that it executed for Silverton, despite the presence of numerous red flags.  SEC

November 29, 2021

Denari Capital LLC and its principals Travis Capson and Arnab Sarkar have been ordered to pay a total of $4 million in penalties and restitution based on findings that they engaged in foreign exchange (forex) pool fraud and failed to register with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator and associated persons.  Defendants misrepresented Denari’s trading and performance in fraudulent solicitations, issued false account statements, and improperly commingled pool funds.  CFTC

October 15, 2021

iFinex Inc. and related entities doing business as cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex, agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve charges that they operated as an unregistered futures commission merchant (FCM) and engaged in illegal, off-exchange retail commodity transactions in digital assets with U.S. persons that were not eligible contract participants (ECPs).  The CFTC found that Bitfinex allowed margin trading financed through a peer-to-peer funding program through which Bitfinex customers who held fiat or cryptocurrency in their Bitfinex account would “lend” those funds to other Bitfinex customers who would then use those funds to buy, sell, and trade on the Bitfinex platform, in violation of a 2016 CFTC orderCFTC

September 27, 2021

Citibank, N.A. and Citigroup Global Markets Limited, which are provisionally registered swap dealers, will pay a $1 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that they failed to properly report Legal Entity Identifier information to a swap data repository as required by applicable regulations.  In addition, Citi was found to have supervisory failures and to be out of compliance with a prior 2017 order on related matters.  CFTC

The Evergrande Crisis Shows the Need for Greater Regulatory Oversight of the OTC Markets

Posted  09/23/21
market trading graph with large dip
The potential imminent collapse of China’s largest property builder, Evergrande, is shining a light on just how expensive homes in China’s big cities have become—and how much of a risk of a bubble there is, with potentially catastrophic effects on the global markets.  A potential collapse would not just affect Chinese investors, although they may bear the brunt.  Evergrande is traded over-the-counter in the...

September 17, 2021

RBC Capital Markets LLC will pay $800,000 to resolve charges that it improperly allocated bonds intended for institutional customers and dealers to “flippers,” who then resold the bonds to other broker-dealers at a profit, despite customer instructions to place retail customer orders first.  RBC employees Kenneth G. Friedrich, who was the head of Municipal Sales, Trading and Syndication, and Jaime L. Durando, the head of RBC's municipal syndicate desk, also settled charges and agreed to penalties of $30,000 and $25,000 respectively.  SEC
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