Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

January 21, 2017

Investors sued a biotech company and its CEO amid claims that the defendants had issued press releases that fraudulently under-stated the timeframes to begin and complete FDA trials. Defendants countered that the trials progressed as would have normally been expected. In the end, it came down to a duel between what was an inference, what was an implication, and what should have reasonably been inferred and what was (or was not) implied. READ

Broker-Dealer Compliance Consultant Position Available. Consultant will perform complex compliance monitoring, analysis and reporting including, but not limited to: New Broker-Dealer Registration; Business Expansion/Changes; Written Supervisory Procedures Development and Management; Gap Analysis and Risk Assessment; Examination Support; Program Development/Review; Business Continuity Plan; Cybersecurity; Anti-Money Laundering; Registered Representative Services; Registration; Annual Compliance Meetings; Office Inspections;  Continuing Education; and Marketing Material Review. READ 

It's just not everyday that you come across a lawsuit with this title: James Paul McCartney, Plaintiff, v. SONY/ATV Music Publishing LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, and SONY/ATV Tunes LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, Defendants (Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 17-CV-363 / January 18, 2017). READ

I've been around Wall Street for some 35 years and have been admitted to the Bar since 1985. During that time, I've worked with and represented some not-so-nice folks and some truly wonderful human beings -- it all sort of comes with the territory of working on the Street and being a lawyer. Notwithstanding my three-decades-plus of experience, I've rarely been as disgusted with the underlying facts of a case as by those alleged in Christopher Brummer, Plaintiff, v. Benjamin Wey, FNI Media LLC, and NYG Capital LLC d/b/a New York Global Group, Defendants (Amended Complaint, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, File No. 153583/2015, January 13, 2016). If you have the stomach, read the above-cited Amended Complaint, but be prepared: It ain't pretty and there is nothing funny about any aspect of the alleged defamation. You might want to consider a tetanus shot before clicking on the link. READ

In 2010, Gregory Bartko was convicted in federal court of conspiracy, mail fraud, and unregistered securities sales. Following on that conviction, in 2012, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") instituted  administrative proceedings to permanently bar Bartko from associating with six classes of securities market participants, but an SEC Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") only recommended the imposition of four classes of bars. Following Bartko's appeal to the full SEC, that body imposed the full complement of six bars. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals just turned everything on its head. READ

NSF Check Kiter Snagged In FINRA Regulatory Tree

It's not exactly a scene from Mary Poppins when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sings about kites. The grumpy self-regulatory organization warns registered reps that they may get snagged in the old regulatory tree if they try to fly too many NSF checks. READ

1,067 former BlackRock, Inc. employees had the following provision in their separation agreement:

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, you hereby release and forever discharge, BlackRock, as defined above, from all claims for, and you waive any right to recovery of, incentives for reporting of misconduct, including, without limitation, under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, relating to conduct occurring prior to the date of this Agreement.

On March 31, 2016, the firm voluntarily revised the provision to exclude any requirement that a separating employee waive the right to recover Dodd-Frank Act incentives. See how the Securities and Exchange Commission handled the issue. READ

If it's Open-Mic Night at your local club and you want to try your hand at some celebrity impersonations, knock yourself out. On the other hand, if you are a stockbroker at work, I'm not so sure you want to be working on your material by pretending to be one of your customers. At the club, if you're lucky, you may bring the house down and get asked back for an encore. At work, well, you better be lucky because if you get caught, you may bring your career down and find yourself bum-rushed out the door by security. Consider this recent FINRA regulatory settlement involving customer impersonations. READ

The Appointments Clause of the Constitution and the constitutionality of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Administrative Law Judge system have come into apparent conflict. The clash is the gift that keeps on giving -- or, perhaps, more aptly put, the regulatory equivalent of herpes? Once again, we consider the latest development. READ