Regulatory Enforcement

FTC Building

FTC antitrust head to step down


Bruce Hoffman, director of the Bureau of Competition, will depart the Federal Trade Commission in November after more than two years in his position.


Ex-PCAOB leader gets prison time for role central to KPMG scandal


Former PCAOB Inspections Leader Jeffrey Wada was sentenced to nine months in prison for providing the confidential information central to the long-running KPMG inspections scandal.

KPMG building

Former KPMG co-lead pleads guilty in inspections scandal


Former KPMG partner David Britt pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as the fallout from the cheating scandal that has plagued the firm for nearly two years appears to be nearing its conclusion.


Blockchain company to pay $24M for unregistered ICO

2019-10-02T18:09:00+01:00By has agreed to settle charges with the SEC and pay a $24 million civil penalty for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering of digital tokens that raised the equivalent of several billion dollars.

Take note

Compliance lessons from Quad/Graphics’ $10M FCPA settlement


Quad/Graphics will pay $10 million to resolve SEC charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by engaging in widespread bribery schemes in Peru and China, but the compliance lessons are priceless.


Compliance takeaways from Barclays’ $6.3M FCPA settlement


Barclays joins a growing list of financial institutions to pay a penalty for violations of the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA due to questionable hiring practices.


SEC reaches settlements with 17 advisory firms over disclosure failures


The SEC on Monday announced settled charges against 17 investment advisers for disclosure failures regarding their mutual fund share class selection practices.


Westport Fuels, former CEO pay $4.1M in FCPA case


Westport Fuels Systems and its former CEO have reached a $4.1 million settlement with the SEC for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to a foreign government official in China.


Avanir to pay $116M for engaging in kickback scheme


Avanir Pharmaceuticals will pay a combined $116 million in civil and criminal penalties for paying kickbacks to a physician to induce prescriptions of its drug Nuedexta, the Department of Justice announced.


BMO firms to pay $37M for misleading clients


Two BMO advisory firms have agreed to pay over $37 million in a settlement with the SEC for misleading clients on aspects of their retail investment advisory program.


Fiat Chrysler to pay $40M for misleading investors


Automaker FCA U.S. and its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, have reached a $40 million settlement with the SEC for misleading investors about the number of new vehicles sold each month to customers in the United States.


FCA fines Prudential $26.4M in misselling scandal


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has hit Prudential with a £23.8 million (U.S. $26.4 million) fine for misleading 17,000 customers into accepting a deal with the insurance firm when they might have done better on the open market.


Herbalife fined $20M for misleading investors


Herbalife will pay $20 million to settle charges with the SEC that it made false and misleading statements about its China compensation model.


Mylan finalizes $30M EpiPen settlement with SEC


Mylan has finalized a previously disclosed $30 million settlement with the SEC for alleged accounting and disclosure failures surrounding its popular EpiPen.


SEC, Libra called out at House Financial Services hearing


At the first get-together of all five SEC commissioners at a Congressional hearing since 2007, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters said the regulator “is not fulfilling its mission as Wall Street’s cop.”


Nissan pays $15M for financial misconduct; CEO and CCO resign


Nissan will pay a $15 million civil penalty over false financial disclosures, the SEC announced. The charges come the same month the carmaker’s latest CEO resigned, along with its vice president of internal audit and chief compliance officer.


SEC: PwC to pay $8M for auditor independence violations


PwC will pay approximately $8 million in monetary relief to settle charges with the SEC for allegedly violating auditor independence rules and engaging in improper professional conduct.


TechnipFMC to pay $5M in FCPA case


TechnipFMC, a global oil and gas services provider, has reached a $5 million settlement with the SEC for violations of the books-and-records and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA.


CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database gets a second chance


Will improvements to the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database, acknowledged by the CFPB director as the “government’s version of Yelp,” help institutions ward off disgruntled consumers?


SEC charges ICOBox for unregistered offering, broker activity


The SEC has filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency startup ICOBox, a California company in the business of facilitating other companies’ ICOs, and its founder for conducting an illegal securities offering of its digital tokens and for acting as unregistered brokers for other digital asset offerings.

Raymond James

Compliance failures lead to $15M penalty for Raymond James


A series of compliance failures have resulted in three Raymond James entities being fined $15 million by the SEC over improper charges of advisory fees and excess commissions.


Two broker-dealers to pay $4.65M for providing deficient ‘blue sheet data’


Two broker-dealers must pay a combined $4.65 million in penalties for providing incomplete and inaccurate securities trading information to the SEC. Prudent compliance officers might want to take a page from their remedial efforts.


Third Cognizant executive settles FCPA charges


A third former executive at Cognizant has settled charges with the SEC for violating the FCPA by participating in a scheme to bribe an Indian government official.


Prudential subsidiaries to pay $33M for misleading disclosures


The SEC has charged two subsidiaries of Prudential Financial with failing to disclose conflicts of interest and making misleading disclosures to the boards for 94 funds they advised.


If feds find fraud using analytics, corporations better have found it first


Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matthew Miner put corporate compliance officers on notice with remarks about the feds’ increasing use of data analytics.


Tullett to pay $13M for supervisory failures and false statements


Tullett Prebon Americas must pay a total of $13 million for failing to supervise employees and making false or misleading statements to CFTC staff.


FTC prioritizes guidance on application of antitrust laws to Big Tech


The Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning is making the identification of Big Tech companies’ anticompetitive behavior and how to remedy it a top priority.


CFTC orders chief compliance officer to pay $150K for fraud


The CFTC has ordered a chief compliance officer to pay $150,000 for engaging in fraudulent acts and making false statements to a self-regulatory organization.


Labor Department enforcement action comes with compliance warning


Lloyd Industries has been ordered to pay $1 million in lost wages and punitive damages to two former employees who were fired in retaliation for their participation in a federal safety investigation, the Department of Labor announced.


​Fishy business: StarKist to pay $100M for tuna price fixing


StarKist must pay a criminal fine of $100 million, the statutory maximum, for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices for canned tuna sold in the United States.


Ex-KPMG leader atop 'chain of corruption' gets a year and a day in jail


A former KPMG leader was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a scheme to subvert the regulatory inspection process.


Merrill Lynch to pay $300K for failing to ‘promptly’ produce audit trail data


Merrill Lynch must pay a $300,000 civil monetary penalty for failing to promptly produce to the CFTC certain required records and, separately, failing to supervise its employees and agents.


CFPB: First enforcement brought under international money transfer rule


The CFPB has brought its first enforcement action for violations of a rule that took effect in 2013 designed to protect consumers who electronically transfer money from the United States to other countries.


Government watchdog group targets PCAOB performance


The PCAOB is taking heat from a government watchdog group, which says the audit regulator is “doing a feeble job” protecting investors.


Mallinckrodt to pay $15.4M over kickback allegations


Pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt is set to pay $15.4 million to the Justice Department to resolve allegations of illegal kickbacks to doctors in the form of lavish dinners and entertainment.


Options Clearing Corp. fined $20M over risk policies


Options Clearing Corp. will pay a combined $20 million in penalties to the SEC and CFTC to settle charges that it failed to implement certain risk management policies as required by U.S. laws and regulator rules.


Compliance lessons from the Google/Uber trade secrets mess


A federal grand jury’s indictment of Anthony Scott Levandowski for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Google may be a wake-up call to protect intellectual property more aggressively.

Children, YouTube

Google, YouTube reach $170M ‘groundbreaking’ settlement for violating children’s privacy


Google and its subsidiary YouTube will pay $170 million to settle allegations that the video-sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent.


Danske reported to police over investment mis-selling


Denmark’s financial regulator has filed a criminal complaint against Danske Bank over a mis-selling scandal that saw its former interim chief executive get fired in June this year.


Juniper settles FCPA case with SEC for $11.7M


Juniper Networks has reached an $11.7 million settlement with the SEC for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act concerning its sales practices in Russia and China.


SEC settles with RSM over audit independence issues


The SEC has settled charges with RSM related to numerous auditor independence violations, spanning more than 100 audit reports across 15 clients.


SAExploration ousts senior leadership amid SEC probe


SAExploration Holdings announced the SEC has launched an investigation into areas of its accounting from 2015-16. The company also disclosed a significant reshuffling of its senior leadership team.


Deutsche Bank to pay $16M in FCPA case over hiring practices


Deutsche Bank has become the latest financial institution to pay a penalty for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act over questionable hiring practices, showcasing a litany of compliance failures.


Is whistleblowing working? New claims raise questions


Sweeping, open allegations of fraud against major public companies raise fresh questions about the effectiveness of regulatory whistleblower programs.

American Airlines

American Airlines to pay $22.1M over falsified mail delivery allegations


American Airlines has agreed to pay $22.1 million to resolve allegations of violations of the False Claims Act regarding the reporting of international delivery times.


TherapeuticsMD to pay $200K for Reg FD violations


Pharmaceutical company TherapeuticsMD agreed to pay a $200,000 penalty to resolve charges brought by the SEC for Reg FD violations. The case imparts some compliance lessons.


Cantor Fitzgerald, BMO Capital to pay $4.5M for mishandling ADRs


Brokers Cantor Fitzgerald and BMO Capital Markets will combine to pay more than $4.5 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts.


Avianca discloses internal FCPA investigation


Avianca Holdings disclosed in a securities filing that it is investigating possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act concerning free and discounted airline tickets and upgrades given to government officials in certain countries.


Suspecting illicit assets, British police freeze record $121M


The U.K.’s National Crime Agency announced it has frozen eight bank accounts containing more than £100m (U.S. $121 million), which it suspects derived from bribery and corruption overseas. This represents the largest amount of money frozen to date.

Binary options

CFTC files charges over fraudulent binary options trading scheme


The CFTC is pursuing enforcement against five entities and four individuals for engaging in a fraudulent scheme to solicit global customers for the purported purpose of trading illegal, off-exchange binary options.