Insider Trading, Congress and COVID-19: A Renewed Focus on the STOCK Act

The recently-reported sales of stock by several U.S. Senators following private briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently allowing them to avoid significant losses before the markets plummeted, have focused attention on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.  The Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2012, followed the public outcry resulting from a “60 Minutes” report on lucrative trades by members of Congress during the debate over the Affordable Care Act and prior to the 2008 financial crisis. … More

SEC Enforcement and COVID-19: Disclosure and Insider Trading Risks for Issuers

In response to the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted some flexibility to issuers with respect to their obligations to file periodic reports and deliver proxy and information statements to shareholders under the Securities Exchange Act.  On March 4, the SEC issued an exemptive order granting affected public companies, subject to certain conditions, an additional 45 days to file or deliver those materials. … More

Supreme Court Seems Poised to Limit But Not Eliminate SEC Disgorgement in Judicial Proceedings

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Liu v. SEC, which concerns whether, or to what extent, the SEC may ask courts to disgorge defendants’ ill-gotten gains. As I discussed in a previous post, disgorgement accounts for most of the SEC’s money judgments, and its elimination would be a significant victory for defendants. Yet if oral argument is any indication,… More

Foreign Executive’s FCPA Convictions Overturned

District Court Finds Insufficient Evidence That He Acted As Agent of U.S. Subsidiary

On February 26, 2020, a federal judge in Connecticut granted in part the motion for acquittal of a former senior executive with the French power and transportation company Alstom S.A., overturning a jury verdict that found him guilty on seven counts of violating or conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).1 As we reported in a prior alert,… More

White House’s Proposed Consolidation of PCAOB into SEC Could Reduce Audit Oversight

In its proposed budget for 2021, the White House called for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (“PCAOB”) “functions and responsibilities” to be consolidated into the SEC.  According to the administration, having the SEC absorb the PCAOB’s functions will clarify existing ambiguity and duplication among the two regulators, and promote “constraint” over the fees the PCAOB charges to public companies and broker-dealers to fund the PCAOB.  … More

White Collar Year in Preview: Impeachment Implications

This is the seventh and last post in our start-of-year series examining important trends in white collar law and investigations in the coming year. Our previous entry discussed sanctions and export controls trends in 2020. We look forward to keep you apprised of developments in all of these areas in the year ahead.

In 2019 we saw the conclusion of a nationally-significant grand jury matter in the Mueller investigation,… More

White Collar Year in Preview: Sanctions/Export Controls Trends in 2020

This is the sixth in our start-of-year series examining important trends in white collar law and investigations in the coming year. Our previous entry discussed enforcement by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in 2020. Up next, our final entry in the 2020 preview series: a white-collar look at the Mueller investigation and the impeachment inquiry. … More

White Collar Year in Preview: Massachusetts Attorney General Trends in 2020

Editors’ Note: This is the fifth in our start-of-year series examining important trends in white collar law and investigations in the coming year. Our previous entry discussed False Claims Act trends in 2020. Up next:  a look at the year ahead in cross-border compliance and sanctions. Look for additional posts throughout the month of January.

2019 marked the beginning of Maura Healey’s second term as Massachusetts Attorney General.… More

White Collar Year in Preview: False Claims Act Trends in 2020

Editors’ Note: This is the fourth in our start-of-year series examining important trends in white collar law and investigations in the coming year. Our previous entry discussed  anti-corruption trends in 2020. Up next: a look at State Attorney General trendsLook for additional posts throughout the month of January.

More than halfway into the Donald Trump administration,… More