In a move that will have commodities traders on high alert, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Michael Coscia, who was sentenced to three years in prison after a federal jury found the former trader guilty of spoofing and commodities fraud. In its 42-page opinion, a three-judge panel denied
In an unprecedented move on June 14, 2017, Michigan’s Attorney General, Bill Schuette, charged five state officials with involuntary manslaughter, alleging that each had failed to address the city of Flint’s contaminated water issue that they knew was connected to the poisoning deaths of 12 individuals. One of the charged officials, Michigan Department of…
In a controversial ruling, London’s High Court has held that interview notes and other documents created by outside legal counsel and forensic accountants as part of an internal investigation into foreign bribery allegations are not protected by the legal professional privilege. While the appeals process is already underway, the May 8th decision by the Honourable Mrs Justice Andrews is a noteworthy victory for the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), an agency akin to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), the U.K. division of a multinational mining conglomerate operating in the Middle East and Africa, is the subject of an ongoing SFO criminal investigation. At times, ENRC appears to have been in a cooperation posture with the SFO; but earlier this year, the SFO filed a petition seeking to force ENRC to produce documents the company claimed were privileged. The London High Court agreed with the SFO, ruling that almost all of the documents at issue were not privileged and should be disclosed to the SFO.
Continue Reading U.K. Court Orders Disclosure of Internal Investigation Documents to Criminal Prosecutors
Marking a rare loss for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its favored administrative forum, SEC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) James E. Grimes ruled against the agency on April 18, 2017, in In the Matter of Charles L. Hill, Jr. Ironically, the SEC fought hard to keep the case in the administrative forum, after Respondent Hill filed an action in federal district court claiming the SEC’s “home court” forum was unconstitutional. The district court enjoined the SEC, but the 11th Circuit vacated the district court’s order, and the case proceeded on the SEC’s administrative court. There, the ALJ found the SEC’s circumstantial evidence not only to be insufficient, but fatally undermined by the credibility of witnesses who offered testimony favorable to Hill.
Continue Reading SEC Suffers Rare Loss in Insider Trading Case Before Agency Judge
The month of March has brought with it the first-ever criminal municipal bond securities fraud conviction, the resolution of enforcement actions targeting banks and senior executives accused of shirking duties to oversee municipal bond issuances, and proposed rule amendments intended to improve municipal securities disclosures—continuing a trend of intensified regulatory enforcement that targets industry “gatekeepers” such as auditors, bond underwriters, and others that serve investor clients entering the municipal bond market. …
Continue Reading March Madness in the Municipal Bond Market – A Focus on Gatekeepers