U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Auditors engaging in non-audit consulting?  A major accounting firm pushing for more consulting work?  Recently, the SEC’s chief accountant indicated that there were concerns at the SEC regarding auditor independence as a result of this push for non-auditing work from accounting firms.

In particular, the concern related to auditing firms boosting their non-audit consulting business. 

Alas, the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections cover informants overseas.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, recently, held that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections cover informants that report to the SEC information about FCPA violations.  The court, citing that the plain language of the act, indicated that such individuals were covered.  This is an intriguing

The SEC has given a pretty good report card regarding its examinations of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, stating there was only one mistake.  This “clean bill of health” comes about a year after the SEC issued a scathing report of all NRSROs.

Although these agencies had been blamed for some of the problems that

The SEC granted filing extensions and other regulatory relief for the entities effected by Hurricane Sandy.

Previously, the SEC extended several deadlines, and allowed certain exemptive forms to be used.  However, one of the more important offers of assistance is the SEC staff is willing to view matters on a case by case basis if additional assistance is necessary. 

Regulators seem to believe that lawyers and their law firms act like ostriches when it comes to their clients and Ponzi schemes.  For example, a law firm paid $25 million to settle malpractice claims over legal services rendered to certain hedge funds and related entities controlled by a Ponzi Scheme artist, Arthur Nadel.  See SEC

The SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets staff, recently, agreed to not recommend enforcement action, pursuant to Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 11(d) (1), if a broker-dealer receives payments in-kind to help defray the costs incurred in sponsoring educational and training seminars for a proposed ETF alliance program.

In granting the relief, the Staff noted the

A popular two-tier merger and acquisition structure may trigger certain prohibitions under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  In particular, this problem relates to the so-called “Burger King” structure, arising from the private equity fund acquisition of the fast-food chain by a private equity fund, and its simultaneous pursuit of a tender offer and a traditional one-step merger. 

The Burger

The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance will consider a bar on so-called “bad actors” from private offerings before announcing rules on crowdfunding under the JOBS Act.  However, we anticipate there will be an additional delay given the turnover at the SEC and the recent departure of its Corp Fin Director. 

As you have undoubtedly heard, the SEC has

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement is performing well according to its departing director.

The soon to be ex-Enforcement Director credits this strength to his re-organization of the Division based on expertise and the tips received from whistleblowers, among other things.  The Dodd-Frank Act was the impetus for the SEC’s whistleblower program, and the SEC received over 3,000

The SEC’s Whistleblower Office received 3,001 tips last year, involving a number of different areas and from all over the United States and the world. 

The SEC views the program as a valuable tool, and believes the “bounty program”– the payment for these tips– has enhanced the disclosure and its usefulness.  This year even saw the