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You are here: SEC & Securities Law SEC Press Releases
  • SEC Charges IT Employee at Law Firm With Insider Trading Ahead of Merger Announcements

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an employee in an international law firm’s IT department with insider trading ahead of several mergers and acquisitions involving firm clients being advised on the deals.

    The SEC alleges that Dimitry Braverman, a senior information technology professional at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, had access to nonpublic information in the firm’s client-related databases and garnered more than $300,000 in illicit profits by trading in advance of merger announcements.  Braverman began by insider trading in accounts in his own name, but shifted course when a lawyer at his firm was charged by the SEC and criminal authorities in an entirely separate insider trading scheme.  After immediately liquidating the remaining securities that he had purchased on the basis of nonpublic information, Braverman waited about 18 months and then continued his insider trading in a brokerage account held in the name of a relative living in...

  • SEC and SBA to Partner on Events on Small Business Capital Raising Under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

    The Securities and Exchange Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced today they will jointly host events to inform small business owners and entrepreneurs about new options that are and will become available for capital raising under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.

    The events are designed for existing and aspiring small businesses, including those that are minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned, and will discuss the JOBS Act, which expands the options that businesses may use to raise capital.  One change already in place gives firms the ability to advertise certain private offerings; a second that is pending will allow firms to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The SEC is actively developing rules to implement JOBS Act provisions.

    Representatives from the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance, the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion...

  • SEC Sanctions 19 Firms and Individual Trader for Short Selling Violations in Advance of Stock Offerings

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the latest sanctions in a continuing enforcement initiative uncovering certain hedge fund advisers and private equity firms that have illegally participated in an offering of a stock after short selling it during a restricted period.

    The SEC last year announced the initiative to enhance enforcement of Rule 105 of Regulation M, which is designed to preserve the independent pricing mechanisms of the securities markets and prevent stock price manipulation.  Rule 105 typically prohibits firms or individuals from short selling a stock within five business days of participating in an offering for that same stock.  Such dual activity typically results in illicit profits for the firms or individuals while reducing the offering proceeds for a company by artificially depressing the market price shortly before the company prices the stock.

    The SEC’s investigations found that 19 firms and one individual trader charged in these latest cases...

  • Tennessee-Based Animal Feed Company Agrees to Pay $18 Million to Settle Accounting Fraud Case

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a Tennessee-based animal feed company has agreed to pay back $18 million in illicit profits from an accounting fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action earlier this year.

    AgFeed Industries, which is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, was charged by the SEC in March along with top company executives for repeatedly reporting fake revenues from the company’s China operations in order to meet financial targets and prop up AgFeed’s stock price.  The company obtained illicit gains in stock offerings to investors at the inflated prices resulting from the accounting scheme.  The SEC also alleged that U.S. managers learned of the accounting fraud, but failed to take adequate steps to investigate and disclose it to investors. 

    The $18 million to be paid by AgFeed to settle the SEC’s case will be distributed to victims of the company’s fraud.  Details of the settlement were...

  • SEC Announces Creation of New Office Within its Division of Economic and Risk Analysis

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the creation of a new office within the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) that will coordinate efforts to provide data-driven risk assessment tools and models to support a wide range of SEC activities. 

    Since its creation in 2009, DERA has collaborated with market experts throughout the SEC to develop risk assessment tools.  One example, the Aberrational Performance Inquiry, launched in 2009 to proactively identify atypical hedge fund performance, led to eight enforcement actions and is one of the tools used by the Division of Enforcement to assess private funds.  Similarly, DERA developed a broker-dealer risk assessment tool that helps SEC examiners allocate resources by assessing a broker-dealer’s comparative riskiness relative to its peer group.  It also is working closely with the Enforcement Division’s Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force and the Division of Corporation Finance on developing a tool to assist in...

SEC Press Releases