Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

October 17, 2015

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Wall Street Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Issues 
New Episodes Every Tuesday

FINRA Hearing Panel Dismisses Private Offering Case 

Based upon the number of lawsuits, there are a lot of disgruntled investors who invested in private offerings either just before or in the midst of the Great Recession. If the investment managed to survive that financial cataclysm, valuations may well have been hammered; however, for the lucky, staying the course may have yielded wonderful results. As those private placements make their way through courts and arbitration hearings, we have also witnessed many regulatory actions alleging fraud, non-disclosure, suitability, and the like. Consider a recent FINRA disciplinary proceeding against a member firm and its Chief Executive Officer/ Chief Compliance Officer. READ

Sad Saad Saga Sought Second SRO / SEC Shot

This is an update of "The Amazing Mobius Strip Of Wall Street Regulation" ( Blog, March 18, 2015). It is a saga that starts in 2006 with alleged business expense misconduct; and then, from 2007 through 2015 moves through an investigation, Complaint, hearings, appeals, remands, and appeals. In a bit of mathematical magic, we seem to have traveled twice around a circle only to find ourselves at the end of the beginning of the beginning of the end -- the amazing Mobius Strip of Wall Street Regulation. READ

Little Biz On The Side Gets Rep Fined And Suspended

Maybe Things Are A Tad Quiet On The Broker-Dealer Front And You're Thinking Of Doing Something With Your Extra Time? You Have That Insurance Office But, Gee, Lately, The Customers Aren't Exactly Breaking Down The Doors. Maybe A Little Real Estate On The Side? Maybe Invest In A Small, Local Biz? You're A Clever Guy With An Entrepreneurial Interest. Why Sit Around Doing Nothing When You Can Branch Out And Do Even More? Alas, The Road To Hell Is Often Paved With Such Good Intentions. Read About A Recent FINRA Regulatory Settlement. READ

Is Blowing the Whistle Wasting Time? (Case In Point Episode #1)

Case In Point host, Bill Singer, Esq., interviews Aegis Frumento, Esq., partner at the Stern, Tannenbaum Bell law firm. Frumento discusses his representation of a confidential whistleblower, who has blown the whistle to the Securities and Exchange Commission about alleged mortgage underwriting misrepresentations by Sun Trust Bank. After two high profile New York Times articles and the involvement of the Department of Justice, it's difficult to figure out just where this case is -- or isn't. The interview raises provocative questions about the futility of the whistleblower process and frustration faced by attorneys and their clients. A compelling watch.

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SEC Settles Prop Trading Spoofing Case

As previously reported in "UPDATE: 1st Criminal Prosecution Of Layering And Spoofing Hits HFT Sphere" ( Blog, January 13, 2015), the first purported criminal case was brought involving High Frequency Trading and layering/spoofing. United States Of America V. Aleksandr Milrud (Complaint, DNJ, 15-7001, January 13, 2015). In a separate action, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil Complaint charging Milrud with violating and aiding and abetting violations of anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws and the SEC's antifraud rule, and with liability for the conduct of the traders under his management. Also see Securities and Exchange Commission, Plaintiff, v. Aleksandr Milrud, Defendant (Complaint, 15-CV-00237, DNJ, January 13, 2015).

On Oct. 8, 2015, the SEC filed an Order Instituting Proceedings alleging that unregistered proprietary trading firm Briargate Trading, LLC and Eric Oscher (a Briargate principal) had engaged in spoofing and, as such, had manipulated the market. As more fully set forth in the OIP "Summary"  READ