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Business Law Blog

Biz Law Blog

A business law blog focused on commercial law and business transactions.

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Jun 27, 2022

Serving the Public? SEC Charges Two Municipalities and Their Leaders with Bond Fraud

I have written previously about the recurring problem of fraudulent financial information used to market and sell municipal securities. See my Sept. 22, 2020, Blog “SEC Focus on Municipal Securities: Disclosure and Enforcement – the Peculiar Structure of the Municipal Securities Disclosure Regime”; my March 2, 2021, Blog “Being Held Accountable: The ‘Education’ of KPMG at the College of New Rochelle”; and by April 28, 2022, Blog “Failing Grades: School District and Auditor Earn SEC Discipline.” » Read More

Jun 20, 2022

Changing the Game: SEC Brings Enforcement Action for Exchanging Annuities

On Monday, May 25, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative and Cease-And-Desist Proceedings (“Order”) against RiverSource Distributors, Inc. (“RDI”) with respect to exchanges it made with existing customers between January 2017 and May 2018 of variable annuities.» Read More

Jun 01, 2022

SEC Brings Enforcement to Tragedy: Asserts Failed ESG Disclosure in Dam Collapse

On Jan. 25, 2019, the tailing dam of “upstream design” known as Dam 1 (the “Dam”) at the Corrego do Feijao iron ore mine six miles east of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, collapsed after suffering a catastrophic failure. That collapse released nearly 12 million cubic tons of mining waste into the Paraopeba River, caused the death of 270 people, resulted in “immeasurable environmental and social harm” (according to the April 28 Press Release of the U.S.» Read More

May 16, 2022

“Fake News” Brazilian Style

On Monday, April 18, 2022, the U. S. Securities and  Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against Fernando Passos, the former executive Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations of a Brazilian reinsurance company, IRB Brazil Resseguros S. A., for planting a story with the media claiming that Warren Buffett (the “Oracle of Omaha”)’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.» Read More

May 09, 2022

Penny Pest Control: Rollins Inc. Pays $8 Million for Managing Earnings

On Monday, April 18, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that Rollins Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of termite and pest control services (under such brands as Orkin and Critter Control) to both residential and customers, had settled charges that it “engaged in improper accounting practices in order to boost its quarterly earnings per share… to meet research analysts’ consensus estimates.” » Read More

Apr 21, 2022

A Triptych of Frauds: SEC Brings Enforcement Actions

“There is something perverse in the very nature of mankind,”  as Lucretius wrote in his great didactic poem “De rerum natura” [On the Nature of Things] in the first century B.C.

          And greed, again, and the blind lust of honours,

          Which force poor wretches past the bounds of law…

So, the following three tales capture the weakness of the human soul, which would rather celebrate financial gain at the expense of reputation, money, and position. » Read More

Mar 15, 2022

Maximizing the Fee: Royal Bank of Canada Affiliate Pays $30+ Million for Client Abuse

On Thursday, March 3, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that City National Rochdale, LLC (“CNR”), a Delaware statutory trust sponsoring proprietary mutual funds and serving as their investment adviser, agreed to pay $30,361,803 to settle charges brought by the SEC that the trust had failed to disclose conflicts of interest that defrauded current and prospective clients.» Read More