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  • SEC Reappoints Lewis H. Ferguson to Second Term on PCAOB

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) member Lewis H. Ferguson has been reappointed for a second term on the Board.

    “I am pleased with the Commission’s reappointment of Lew Ferguson as a PCAOB board member,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “Lew brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to his position and I look forward to the contributions he will make in his continued service as a Board Member.” 

    The PCAOB provides oversight of the audits of financial statements of public companies and broker-dealers through registration, standard setting, inspection, and disciplinary programs.  As required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Commission is responsible for overseeing the PCAOB and appointing its members.

    Mr. Ferguson’s new term runs until October 2019.  He was first appointed to the PCAOB in January 2011 and served as its first General Counsel from 2004 to 2007.  Before joining the PCAOB as a...

  • SEC Halts Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme Targeting Spanish and Portuguese Communities

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against the operators of a pyramid and Ponzi scheme falsely promising a gold mine of investment opportunity to investors in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities in Massachusetts, Florida, and elsewhere in the U.S. 

    The SEC alleges that DFRF Enterprises, named for its founder Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho, claimed to operate more than 50 gold mines in Brazil and Africa, but the company’s revenues came solely from selling membership interests to investors and not from mining gold.  With the help of several promoters, they lured investors with such false promises as their money would be fully insured, DFRF has a line of credit with a Swiss private bank, and one-quarter of DFRF’s profits are used for charitable work in Africa.  The scheme raised more than $15 million from at least 1,400 investors by recruiting new members in pyramid scheme fashion...

  • SEC Solicits Public Comment on Audit Committee Disclosures

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to publish a concept release seeking public comment on current audit committee disclosure requirements, focusing on the committee’s oversight of independent auditors.  The Commission is interested in receiving information about the audit committee and auditor relationship and whether improvements can be made to enhance the information provided to investors about the audit committee’s responsibilities and activities.  

    “Effective audit committee oversight is essential to investor protection and the functioning of our capital markets,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “The way audit committees exercise their oversight of independent auditors has evolved and it is important to evaluate whether investors have the information they need to make informed decisions.”   

    In addition to seeking views about audit committee disclosures, the concept release invites comment on whether Commission disclosure requirements should be refined to provide more insight into the information the audit committee used and the factors...

  • SEC Charges Deloitte & Touche With Violating Auditor Independence Rules

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Deloitte & Touche LLP with violating auditor independence rules when its consulting affiliate maintained a business relationship with a trustee serving on the boards and audit committees of three funds it audited.  Deloitte agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle the charges.

    The SEC charged the trustee Andrew C. Boynton with causing related reporting violations by the funds, and charged the funds’ administrator ALPS Fund Services with causing related compliance violations.  They also agreed to settle the charges.

    Auditor independence rules require outside auditors to remain independent from their clients to ensure there is not even the appearance of a firm compromising its objectivity and impartiality when auditing financial statements.  According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding, Deloitte violated the rules with respect to the appearance of independence by failing to follow its own policies and conduct an independence consultation...

  • SEC Proposes Rules Requiring Companies to Adopt Clawback Policies on Executive Compensation

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed rules directing national securities exchanges and associations to establish listing standards requiring companies to adopt policies that require executive officers to pay back incentive-based compensation that they were awarded erroneously.  With this proposal, the Commission has completed proposals on all executive compensation rules required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    Under the proposed new Rule 10D-1, listed companies would be required to develop and enforce recovery policies that  in the event of an accounting restatement, “claw back” from current and former executive officers incentive-based compensation they would not have received based on the restatement.  Recovery would be required without regard to fault.  The proposed rules would also require disclosure of listed companies’ recovery policies, and their actions under those policies. 

    “These listing standards will require executive officers to return incentive-based compensation that was not earned,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. ...

SEC Press Releases