Blog Archives

SEC Secures Split Decision in Insider Trading Trial

The SEC received a split decision from a jury in an insider trading case that spawned three separate enforcement actions and ten different traders. The jury found in favor of the Commission and against one first tier tippee – one

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SEC Wins Freeze of $29 Million in Alleged Insider Trading Profits

Insider trading is a key enforcement priority as well as a controversial topic. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan and the SEC have brought a series of highly successful and high profile insider trading cases. As those cases unfolded controversy

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Jury Fails To Convict JPMorgan Analyst of Insider Trading

Prosecutors, and perhaps the SEC, received a set back last in their war on insider trading as former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal was found not guilty on 26 counts based on an insider trading scheme. The jury

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This Week In Securities Litigation (For the period Jan. 13 – 27, 2017)

During a two week period divided by the Inauguration, the Commission filed just under 40 actions. Chair Mary Jo White stepped down from her position at the agency after delivering her departing remarks at the New York Economic Club. In

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Holiday edition – period from December 23, 2016 to January 6, 2017)

Questions regarding the validity of SEC ALJs continue to be a key focus for SEC enforcement. The Tenth Circuit concluded that the retention of SEC ALJs violated the Constitution’s Appointment Clause, setting up a potential conflict in the circuits that

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending December 23, 2016)

As the Christmas and holiday season approaches, the SEC brought a series of actions. Those included two settled FCPA actions filed in tandem with the DOJ, one of which also involved foreign regulators and the payment of about $3.5 billion.

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending December 9, 2016)

The Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in Salman this week, essentially reaffirming its seminal decision on illegal tipping in Dirks. In affirming the Petitioner’s conviction the Court rejected his contention that the personal benefit to the tipper

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The Supreme Court Reaffirms Dirks In Salman

The Supreme Court handed down its first decision on insider trading in years, affirming the conviction of Bassam Salman for insider trading in violation of Exchange Act Section 10(b). Salman v. United States, No. 15-628 (December 6, 2016). The unanimous

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SEC Charges IT Specialist With Hacking His Firm To Insider Trade

The critical questions about insider trading currently being debated focus on the elements of tipping. Those elements are being considered by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Salman. Sometimes, however, insider trading is simpler, more straight forward. The Commission’s most

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending Nov. 18, 2016)

SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced that she will step down when the new administration takes over. That will leave the Commission with two sitting Commissioners unless there are confirmation hearings during the lame duck session which seems highly unlikely.

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SEC Prevails In Insider Trading Jury Trial

The Commission prevailed at trial against a corporate insider charged with tipping his friend prior to the announcement of favorable regulatory action on an application to market a drug. The friend not only traded but encouraged others to trade at

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending Nov. 11, 2016)

In a week that began with a focus on the election and ended with the commemoration of veterans day, the SEC brought a series of actions including: one that centered on the sale of unregistered securities in the form of

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending Oct. 28, 2016)

The Commission, along with the DOJ, filed a settled FCPA action against aircraft manufacturer Embraer. The action centered on bribes paid in multiple countries to facilitate the sale of aircraft. The agency also brought an insider trading action against a

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SEC’s Latest Insider Trading Action: A Question of Materiality

Earlier this month the Supreme Court head argument in Salman, perhaps the most significant insider trading case to be considered by the High Court in decades. The issue there centers on what constitutes a personal benefit and, more specifically, how

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Insider Trading Before the Supreme Court: Dirks and Salman, Part IV

This is the fourth part of an occasional series examining the issues in Salman v. U.S., No. 15-628, which was argued before the Supreme Court on October 5, 2016. Part I is here, Part II here, and Part III here.

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The Future of Insider Trading: Salman

The future path of insider trading may well be determined by the case which will be argued before the Supreme Court today, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The case is U.S. v. Salman, No. 15-628, a tipping case from the Ninth

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending Sept. 30, 2016)

As the government fiscal year draws to an end, the Commission filed a series of enforcement actions. Those included two insider trading cases, an action alleging violations of the whistleblower provisions, another against a community bank tied to allegations about

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending Sept. 23, 2016)

The Commission filed its first action against an auditor for lack of independence based on a romantic relationship this week. The agency also filed an action alleging insider trading against long time hedge fund operator, Leon Cooerman and another insider

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SEC Charges Hedge Fund Executive Cooperman with Insider Trading

Later this year the Supreme Court is expected to hand down what may well be the most significant insider trading case in years when U.S. v. Salman, No. 15-628 (S.Ct.) is decided. The decision has the potential to end the

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Insider Trading Before the Supreme Court: Dirks and Salman, Part III

This is the third part of an occasional series examining the issues in Salman v. U.S., No. 15-628, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on October 5, 2016. Petitioner’s Reply Brief centers on two themes: 1) The Dirks

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Insider Trading Before the Supreme Court: Dirks and Salman, Part II

In Part I of this occasional series, the background to U.S. v. Salman and the arguments advanced by the Petitioner-defendant in his opening brief before the Supreme Court were examined (here). In this segment of the series, the position of

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Insider Trading: Is Stewart the Way Forward for the Government?

The Government’s insider trading conviction last week in U.S.v. Stewart, No. 1:15-cr-00287 (S.D.N.Y.) is being hailed by some as the way forward for the DOJ and the SEC in a post-Newman world. Perhaps. But consideration of the jury instructions in

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 19, 2016)

An investment banker who repeatedly tipped his father on about pending mergers was found guilty of insider trading by a jury this week. The Commission brought another action based on the whistleblower protections where the firm’s severance agreements impinged on

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 12, 2016)

The D.C. Circuit handed down the first circuit court decision ruling on the Appointments Clause question concerning the retention of SEC ALJs. The court concluded that there was no violation of the Clause. The SEC brought an action this week

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Insider Trading Before the Supreme Court: Dirks and Salman, Part I

One of the most closely watched cases of the coming Supreme Court term is Salman v. U.S., No. 15-628, the Ninth Circuit’s insider trading decision penned by Judge Rakoff. The issue for decision is the meaning of the “personal benefit”

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending August 5, 2016)

The SEC prevailed on summary judgment in an action centered on an offering fraud. The principals of the scheme were found to have violated the antifraud provisions while a codefendant was determined to have acted as an unregistered broker. Two

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Steak And A Small Kickback — An Insider Trading Personal Benefit

What constitutes a personal benefit that results in a breach of duty for insider trading may be resolved by the Supreme Court in the coming term when U.S. v. Salman, 792 F. 3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2015) is decided. In

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 29, 2016)

The Commission settled another FCPA action centered on the efforts of a Chilean airline to resolve its labor issues. The agency also filed four offering fraud actions: one based on an internet fraud; a second centered on the sale of

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SEC Settles Insider Trading Action With Corporate Controller

The Commission filed another settled insider trading action. The case centered on a tender offer by Koch Industries, Inc. for Oplink Communications, Inc., announced before the market opened on November 19, 2014. Following the announcement the share price for Oplink

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending July 15, 2016)

The SEC filed a settled FCPA action in which the employees in the China subsidiary of the firm designed and adopted a bribery scheme to circumvent the compliance procedures the company had installed as a result of an earlier FCPA

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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending June 30, 2016)

In the week leading up to the July 4th holiday weekend the SEC filed an action alleging insider trading centered on the acquisition of a firm by Apple based largely on circumstantial evidence and outsized trading. Another action brought by

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