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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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July 18, 2022

Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company has agreed to pay $50 million to settle charges of providing statements to 1.4 million variable annuity investors, which included public school teachers and staff, that failed to list all fees paid during the period.  In addition to the monetary settlement, Equitable has agreed to cease and desist from future violations and revise how it presents fee information.  SEC

July 15, 2022

A number of California- and Colorado-based people and their affiliated entities have been ordered to pay over $29 million in total in order to resolve multiple charges of violating CFTC regulations.  A federal judge had found California-based John D. Black, his associates Christopher Mancuso and Joseph Tufo, and his entities Financial Tree, Financial Solution Group, and New Money Advisors—as well as Colorado-based John P. Glenn and his law firm—liable for solicitation fraud in connection with binary options and forex transactions, registration violations, and other charges.  CFTC

June 30, 2022

Interactive Brokers LLC has been ordered to pay over $1 million in disgorgement and civil monetary penalty for its failure to supervise employees’ handling of exchange fees charged to customers.  By failing to ensure that its employees accurately assessed fees, Interactive Brokers overcharged its customers over $710,000.  CFTC

June 28, 2022

In response to SEC charges, audit firm Ernst & Young LLP admitted that its employees cheated on CPA exams and in continuing professional education courses, and that the firm withheld evidence of this misconduct during the SEC’s investigation.  EY agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and undertake extensive remedial measures.  The cheating took place on the ethics component of CPA exams and in courses required to maintain CPA licenses, including ones designed to ensure that accountants can properly evaluate whether clients’ financial statements comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  SEC

June 24, 2022

Starberry Limited will pay over $1.3 million in a civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered futures commission merchant and will disgorge the same amount in unlawfully-earned commission and fees. Starberry accepted more than $400 million from a foreign customer, invested it in crude oil futures contracts through more than 12,500 NYMEX WTI trades, and earned over $86 million in profits for the investor. CFTC

May 20, 2022

Wells Fargo Advisors, which is a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor, agreed to pay $7 million to resolve allegations that it had an inadequate anti-money laundering system.  As a result, the SEC alleged, Wells Fargo did not file timely suspicious activity reports including with respect to foreign wire transfers to or from its customers’ brokerage accounts.  SEC

May 5, 2022

Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo, and Samuel Reed, co-founders of BitMEX, were ordered to pay $30 million for AML violations and for illegally operating a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. From late 2014 through 2020, the defendants failed to implement and enforce preventative controls against unlawful conduct. BitMEX operated without CFTC approval to operate as a Designated Contract Market or a Swap Execution Facility. Further, BitMEX operated without registration as a Futures Commission Merchant, failed to implement a Customer Information Program, did not employ proper KYC procedures, and failed to implement an adequate AML program. CFTC

April 7, 2022

Alan Friedland, Fintech Investment Group, Inc., and Compcoin LLC will pay $1.8 million to settle allegations of Commodities Exchange Act violations. Friedland, through his companies, fraudulently solicited customers to invest in a nonexistent proprietary forex trading algorithm, ART, which promised highly successful prediction of forex rates for its users. The defendants solicited customers over a 2-year period, knowing that the required approval from National Futures Association had not been obtained. The approval never materialized, and the investors were saddled with a worthless digital asset. The Court entered an order for permanent injunction, monetary sanctions, and equitable relief against the defendants. CFTC

March 15, 2022

London-based swap dealer ED&F Man Capital Markets, Ltd. will pay $3.25 million to resolve claims that it failed to comply with swap dealer requirements including by failing to report accurate swaps data to a swaps data repository, failing to disclose to its U.S. swaps counterparties that affiliated-entity proprietary traders had access to counterparties’ trade information, and failing to disclose mid-market marks to counterparties. The CFTC further found that the entity failed to maintain an adequate supervisory system or perform its supervisory obligations diligently.  CFTC

March 3, 2022

City National Rochdale, LLC agreed to a civil penalty just over $30 million to resolve SEC allegations that the registered investment adviser failed to disclose to discretionary account clients that it invested their assets in proprietary mutual funds that generated fees for CNR and its affiliates, rather than in competitor funds whose fees may be lower.  The government also alleged that CNR failed to fully inform certain prospective customers of fees with respect to its proprietary funds.  The disclosure failures resulted in an undisclosed conflict of interest according to the SEC.  SEC
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