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Securex Filings Announces Strategic Partnership

 

Securex Filings LLC (Securex), a leading provider of EDGAR, XBRL, and regulatory compliance solutions to the capital markets industry, announces its strategic partnership with iCrowdNewswire, a groundbreaking newswire provider, allowing Securex to offer press release distribution through iCrowdNewswire’s expansive distribution network.

Effective today, Securex offers clients the ability to upload and distribute press releases from Securex.  With a few simple clicks, clients will be able to choose their distribution network and disseminate press releases immediately after editorial review. As a distribution platform, it offers simplicity, ease of use, and effectiveness in getting newswire releases out to the same networks that work with major financial newswire providers.  As a SaaS tool, the platform offers different tiers of service to meet dynamic distribution requirements. In addition, the service has no word counts, no overages, no contracts, and no multimedia fees in order to maximize cost efficiency and service. To receive additional information, please visit secfile.icrowdnewswire.com

“We are excited to offer Issuers an innovative press release distribution service that is a simple and  effective way to disseminate press releases without all the overage charges that are common in the industry,” said Alexander Zervakos, CEO of Securex. “This exciting partnership with iCrowdNewswire will enable us to bring new kinds of integrated services to Issuers around the world.”

By : Securex /September 18, 2015 /Compliance /0 Comment Read More

Mark Cuban argues that U.S. SEC in-house trials hurt defendants’ rights

Publisher: Reuters
Author: Sarah Lynch
 

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took a swipe at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday after he filed a court brief which criticizes the agency’s in-house trials as being unconstitutional.

The amicus brief, filed in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, backs the legal arguments of Charles Hill, a real estate developer who was accused by the SEC of insider-trading and is fighting to have his case moved from the agency’s in-house court to a federal court.

Cuban has been a vocal critic of the SEC, after a federal jury cleared him of insider-trading charges in 2013 following a years-long battle.

The flamboyant billionaire has become one of the most high-profile voices to wade into a brewing legal debate over the fundamental fairness of the SEC’s in-house trials – a venue that many say wrongfully deprives  defendants’ rights to protections they would get in a federal court.

“As a businessman who has faced down a misguided SEC enforcement litigation, Mr. Cuban offers a front-row perspective on the practical importance of the legal and constitutional issues at stake in this litigation,” says the brief, which was written by Cuban’s attorneys at Brown Rudnick LLP.

Many defendants over the past year have tried and failed to convince federal judges to move their trials to courts.

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By : Securex /September 18, 2015 /Uncategorized /0 Comment Read More

SEC Chair Faces New Conflict Claims Over Husband’s Legal Work

Publisher: Bloomberg
Authors: Robert Schmidt and David Michaels
 

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White is facing pressure to recuse herself from picking the next head of the regulator that polices accountants because of a potential conflict with her husband’s legal work.

White is in the midst of weighing candidates to head the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a little-known watchdog whose chairman makes more than $670,000 a year and has great sway over the industry.

The Center for Effective Government, an advocacy group, said White should step aside because her husband, John White, sits on an official advisory group to the audit board. While the position is unpaid, it gives John White regular access to top PCAOB officials. His law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, highlights the role in marketing materials.

“The White family has to deal with this conflict,” said Jeff Hauser, who runs the Revolving Door Project at the Washington-based center that promotes government transparency and accountability. “It makes Mary Jo White’s role choosing PCAOB officials problematic.”

Hauser said he is concerned that White will help pick the chairman of the board who is then ultimately responsible for John White’s job on the advisory panel. There is at least the appearance of a conflict of interest, Hauser said.

John White declined to comment through a firm spokeswoman. Mary Jo White also declined to comment through an SEC spokeswoman, who added that agency ethics lawyers approved White’s participation in selecting a PCAOB chairman after determining it didn’t pose a conflict.

The PCAOB’s Standing Advisory Group includes auditors, investors and company executives. Its mission is to help the regulator set auditing standards that accounting firms must follow.

Sitting on the advisory group provides frequent interactions with the five PCAOB board members and the regulator’s top staff, including phone calls and an open door for meetings in Washington.

The issue of potential conflicts between SEC Chair White and her husband’s law practice isn’t new. When Mary Jo White became head of the agency in 2013, John White stepped down as an equity partner at Cravath in an effort to minimize potential problems.

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By : Securex /September 18, 2015 /Compliance /0 Comment Read More

Appeal by ‘Diva of Distressed’ spotlights SEC in-house court

Publisher: Reuters
Author: Nate Raymond
 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s controversial use of in-house judges to enforce federal securities laws is about to undergo a major test.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether to revive a lawsuit by Lynn Tilton, a private equity chief dubbed the “Diva of Distressed,” to block the SEC from pursuing fraud charges in an in-house administrative proceeding instead of federal court.

Critics say the proceedings are unfair because there are no juries, and defense lawyers have a limited ability to depose witnesses and gather evidence. Some, including Tilton, also say the appointment of administrative judges, who are on the SEC payroll, is unconstitutional.

The SEC charged Tilton, 56, and her Patriarch Partners firm in March with hiding the poor performance of assets underlying three collateralized loan obligation funds that raised over $2.5 billion.

Tilton and Patriarch deny wrongdoing, and have said their investment strategy was consistently disclosed. Should the in-house court not intervene, Tilton faces trial on Oct. 13.

The decision by the 2nd Circuit could prove a major factor in the SEC’s ability to continue pursuing enforcement actions administratively, invoking the 2010 Dodd-Frank law granting it the authority to bring more cases before its in-house court.

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By : Securex /September 15, 2015 /SEC News and Public Statement /0 Comment Read More

SEC steps up enforcement actions against CPAs for cooking books

Publisher: MarketWatch
Author: Francine McKenna
 

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Bankrate Inc. $15 million to settle charges that their CPAs engaged in accounting fraud to ensure that its financial results met analyst expectations, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The company’s former Chief Financial Officer Edward DiMaria and former director of accounting Matthew Gamsey, were also sued. The litigation continues against DiMaria and Gamsey. Former vice president of finance Hyunjin Lerner settled for $180,045 settlement for his role in the scheme. The SEC accused the company and the finance officials of scheming to boost revenue and understate expenses to meet analyst targets for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the second quarter of 2012.

That wasn’t the only accounting-related SEC enforcement action announced Tuesday.

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By : Securex /September 10, 2015 /Public Company Accounting /0 Comment Read More

Judge orders U.S. SEC to expedite resource extraction rule

Publisher: Reuters
Author: Sarah Lynch
 

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to fast-track a final rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, after a human rights group complained the regulator was dragging its feet.

In a Sept. 2 ruling, Judge Denise J. Casper for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts handed Oxfam America a major victory, and told the SEC it will get 30 days to file an “expedited schedule” with the court for how it plans to finalize the rule.

“The SEC is now more than four years past the deadline set by Congress for the promulgation of the final rule,” Casper wrote in her decision.

“The court concludes… that the SEC’s delay in promulgating the final extractive payments disclosure rule can be considered unlawfully withheld.”

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By : Securex /September 04, 2015 /Uncategorized /0 Comment Read More

Aguilar says SEC waiver process, especially denials, should be more transparent

Publisher: MarketWatch
Author: Francine McKenna
 

Luis Aguilar, a Democrat commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission whose term expired in June but whose successor has not yet been appointed, said in a statement on Thursday that the agency needs to enhance transparency and clarity for the waiver process.

Waiver requests are typically made when individuals or organizations are subject to SEC oversight and risk automatic disqualification from continuing some business activities after a penalty of some sort. Aguilar revealed that although he and his fellow Commission members vote on some waiver requests—and those votes have been contentious with Aguilar and Kara Stein often denying the requests— the vast majority of requests are handled by the staff who deny them without ever notifying the commissioners.

Aguilar said he learned through a news article that, in the past two years, most SEC waiver requests are not granted. He was surprised to learn that the number of times the Commission has not granted the “well-known seasoned issuer” waiver or a Regulation D Rule 506 (“Bad Actor”) waiver “has not been recorded consistently. ”In a March 12, 2015 speech, Chairwoman Mary Jo White said she had directed the staff to keep better track of waivers, including those that have not been granted. Aguilar recommends revising the waiver review process “so that both the Commission and the public have greater insight into the entire process”, particularly for waivers that are denied by the staff. His suggestions include the creation of a public website to track the progress and ultimate resolution of all waiver requests and inquiries.

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By : Securex /September 01, 2015 /SEC News and Public Statement /0 Comment Read More

U.S. court rejects Republican challenge to SEC pay-to-play rule

Publisher: Reuters
Author: Sarah Lynch
 

A U.S. appeals court handed the Securities and Exchange Commission a victory on Tuesday by dismissing a challenge from two state Republican parties to the SEC pay-to-play rule for investment advisers.

Republicans in New York and Tennessee said the rule, which places some restrictions on asset managers who donate to political campaigns, was a violation of free speech rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, however, said the Republicans missed a key 60-day deadline to challenge the rule after it went into effect and had lost their chance to try and have it overturned. Reuters could not immediately reach attorneys for the plaintiffs. An SEC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling. The SEC’s pay-to-play rule aims to combat a potential quid pro quo between investment advisers and elected officials in a position to help them win business.

It prohibits advisers from receiving compensation for helping to manage public assets, such as pension plans, for two years after making a campaign contribution to public officials or candidates in a position to award contracts.

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By : Securex /August 26, 2015 /Securites Law /0 Comment Read More

U.S. appeals court backs SEC in-house enforcement cases

Publisher: Reuters
Author: Jonathan Stempel
 

A federal appeals court on Monday handed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a victory in its use of in-house enforcement proceedings, rejecting a challenge by a former chief executive of Assisted Living Concepts Inc.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago agreed with U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee that it lacked jurisdiction to hear former CEO Laurie Bebo’s constitutional challenge to the SEC administrative case against her until the regulator’s proceedings have concluded.

Circuit Judge David Hamilton said it was “fairly discernible” that Congress intended defendants like Bebo to “proceed exclusively through the statutory review scheme” rather than have federal courts hear their cases from the outset. Kate Maternowski, a lawyer for Bebo, said her client will continue pursuing her constitutional claims. SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment. Monday’s decision is at odds with rulings by federal judges Richard Berman in Manhattan and Leigh Martin May in Atlanta.

They have halted SEC administrative cases on the grounds that the appointment of judges who handle them is likely unconstitutional.

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By : Securex /August 25, 2015 /SEC News and Public Statement /0 Comment Read More

SEC Admits It’s Not Monitoring Stock Buybacks to Prevent Market Manipulation

Publisher: First Look
Author: David Dayen
 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has admitted that it has no ability to enforce the main rule intended to prevent market manipulation when companies buy back their own stock, and has no intention to do so.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White made the acknowledgement in a response to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., who queried the agency about stock buybacks. Baldwin is one of a growing number of politicians — including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — who are citing buybacks as an example of deliberate financial engineering that bolsters concentration of wealth and keeps working-class wages stagnant.

Stock buybacks are an increasingly common practice in which corporations take profits, and instead of investing in facilities, research and development, or boosting worker wages, buy shares of their own stock on the open market, thereby boosting demand and driving up its price. Companies bought back over half a trillion dollars’ worth of their own shares last year.

The practice creates short-term rewards for executives who are paid in stock and stock options, and benefit from an increased price. They also make corporate earnings look better by reducing outstanding shares and increasing the commonly reported ratio of earnings-per-share.

Prior to the Reagan era, executives avoided buybacks due to fears that they would be prosecuted for market manipulation. But under SEC Rule 10b-18, adopted in 1982, companies receive a “safe harbor” from market manipulation liability on stock buybacks if they adhere to four limitations: not engaging in buybacks at the beginning or end of the trading day, using a single broker for the trades, purchasing shares at the prevailing market price, and limiting the volume of buybacks to 25 percent of the average daily trading volume over the previous four weeks.

In White’s letter to Baldwin, dated July 13, she admits that the SEC doesn’t collect data that would let it know whether companies breach even these generous limits. “Performing data analyses for issuer stock repurchases presents significant challenges,” White writes, “because detailed trading data regarding repurchases is not currently available.”

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By : Securex /August 20, 2015 /Compliance /0 Comment Read More