October 19, 2019
To Edward M. Daspin's credit, he's hung in there and battled the SEC for some seven years and counting. To the SEC's credit, they've turned the other cheek, bit their tongues, and pretty much endured as punching bags. In a legal saga reminiscent of Star Wars, the SEC Empire fights on even though it loses a Death Star or two, a lot of folks suffer hideous light-saber wounds, and we have so many Darths walkin' around that we need to number them and issue a program. Sadly, Hans and Luke are no longer with us. The Princess too has departed. As with so many things in life, we are left with the likes of Jar Jar Binks.
Years ago, when Bill Singer and I practiced law together, we had a client who was licensed to use the Star Trek brand to sell coffee products. The client marketed a strong coffee that he labeled Klingon Raktajino, after the brew that Worf drank on board the Enterprise. One day, some sample bags of the raktajino coffee were delivered to our law firm while an IT tech was wiring a new computer under Bill's desk. When the tech finished his work, this bona fide geek saw the array of packaging on Bill's desk and asked him, somewhat skeptically, "Is that real Klingon raktajino?" Where do you even begin trying to answer that question?
In today's featured Wall Street legal drama, a former Ameriprise stockbroker was likely not a happy Ameriprise camper and broke up his partnership and left the firm. Likely, the former employer was not happy with the former employee's alleged use of confidential customer information as part of the launch of his new biz. Likely, the former employee's former partner wasn't all that happy a camper when his former partner moved on. What ensued was a fast-paced Texas Two-Step. Two FINRA arbitrations. Two state courts. Two federal courts. Wow . . . let's grab a beer and sit ourselves down.
The FINRA Foundation and GFLEC investigated whether human beings with "low financial literacy levels" were equipped to manage their personal finances. They published a report replete with statistics and findings. I mean, seriously? You needed to do research on that -- and just what the hell did you expect to do with the results of such research? On top of that nonsense, "SEC Educational Videos Aim to Help Investors Spot and Avoid Fraud" claims that two childish videos "provide practical information that Main Street investors can use to avoid fraud and become empowered to make the best investment decisions possible for a strong financial future." All of this wasted time, effort, and funding is a poor simulacrum of investigation and prosecution.