Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

December 14, 2019
In a recent criminal appeal, an appellant/defendant and the federal court seem to think that FINRA is a state governmental agency. Is this a mere typo by the Court? Did something actually transpire by which FINRA was transmogrified from a mere SRO into a state agency? Did something actually transpire by which an important line was crossed, and FINRA, a non-governmental actor with no criminal enforcement powers, was deemed to be standing in the shoes of a state prosecutor? How's that impact so-called Grand Jury secrecy? Whatever the explanation, what's written in the Opinion/Order doesn't make sense.
While standing on the White House lawn, former Congressman Chris Collins learned that a wonder drug had failed a key clinical trial. So he alerted his son, who in turn alerted his girlfriend and her family. They all dumped the stock and saved three quarters of a million when it tanked a few days later. Collins' good fortune was most unfortunate because he was a director and the major shareholder of the failed wonder drug's manufacturer, Innate Immunotherapies. The other day he pled guilty to insider trading.
Some folks carry grudges. Some folks will get a wheelbarrow or pick-up truck to carry a grudge. No matter the time. No matter the weight. In a recent FINRA expungement arbitration, we come across a public customer who is still in a lather about a 1988 investment for which she paid $5,300. Ask her, she says that she only got $1,600 back in distributions. Ask the broker seeking expungement, and he says she got at least $6,272. It's the difference between a loss or a profit. It may explain why the customer opposed the requested expungement and even showed up with counsel at the hearing.
In a recently filed Complaint by three former Synapse Financial employees, Chief Executive Officer Sankaet Pathak is accused of harassment and discrimination. Allegedly, Pathak tried to "break" and "rebuild" his female staff, and fostered a hostile workplace. Read the stunning allegations in the full-text Complaint.
A California Superior Court jury found investment advisor Michael Patrick Kelly guilty of false personation of another, unauthorized use of personal identifying information, and disobeying a court order.  Frankly, that's doesn't quite have the spell-binding ring of a well-crafted literary teaser. Once we dig down into what went on to prompt Kelly's conviction, we are presented with a jaw-dropping fact pattern.