Just this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced its enforcement results from fiscal year 2022. The Commission recovered a record $6.4 billion in penalties and disgorgement from companies and individuals. The announcement touted the 760 total enforcement actions in FY 2022—a nine percent increase from the year before—and summarized areas of innovation and growth within the Enforcement Division. Two such areas are familiar refrains that are worth highlighting: (1) the SEC leveraging its investigative process—emphasizing its use of data analytics—to identify suspicious activity; and (2) its penalties against “gatekeepers” (i.e., individuals and companies who owe a heightened duty of trust and responsibility to clients and investors).

Continue Reading Play it again, SEC: Two Familiar Refrains from the FY 2022 Enforcement Results

In a rare move targeting an in-house compliance officer, the former Chief Compliance Officer of MoneyGram International Inc. has been assessed a $1 million civil penalty by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) for failing to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering (“AML”) program and for failing to file suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) with FinCEN, as required under the Bank Secrecy Act.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has filed a complaint to enforce the civil penalty and to enjoin the former CCO from employment in the financial industry.

Continue Reading Compliance Officer Assessed $1 Million Penalty for Program Failures

Taking aim at credit card issuers who promote offers to consumers such as “convenience checks,” deferred interest/promotional interest rate purchases and balance transfers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a Bulletin on September 3, 2014, putting those issuers on notice of the risk that those practices could constitute deceptive and/or abusive acts.  CFPB Director Richard Cordray criticized such interest rate promotions, maintaining that the offers “lure in consumers and then hit them with surprise charges.”  Last year, the CFPB foreshadowed these concerns, as it questioned consumer understanding and the clarity of disclosures to consumers.
Continue Reading CFPB Fires Warning Shot Over Deceptive Credit Card Interest Rate Promos