Articles Posted in Securities Law

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After petitioner was convicted of conspiracy, selling unregistered securities, and mail fraud, the SEC barred petitioner from associating with six classes of securities market participants. The court agreed with petitioner's argument that the Commissioner's imposition of Dodd-Frank’s collateral ban constitutes an impermissibly retroactive penalty because it is premised on pre-Dodd-Frank misconduct. See Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), Pub. L. No. 111–203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). Therefore, the Commission abused its discretion in barring petitioner from associating with the investment adviser, municipal securities dealer and transfer agent classes because those bars are impermissibly retroactive, and the court granted that portion of the petition. The court rejected petitioner's "unclean hands" argument and denied the remainder of the petition. View "Bartko v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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Petitioners seek review of the Commission's decision imposing sanctions for violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. 80b-21, and the rule against misleading advertising. Here, the Commission instituted an administrative enforcement action against petitioners for alleged violations of anti-fraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act based on how they presented their “Buckets of Money” retirement wealth-management strategy to prospective clients. The court rejected petitioners' contention that the Commission’s decision and order under review should be vacated because the ALJ rendering the initial decision was a constitutional Officer who was not appointed pursuant to the Appointments Clause. The court also concluded that there is substantial evidence to support the Commission’s finding that petitioners’ “Buckets-of-Money” presentation promised to provide an historical-data-only backtest where the analysis would account for “rebucketizing.” Paying deference to the Commission's choice of sanctions, the court upheld the district court's imposition of the lifetime industry bar on Raymond J. Lucia. The court rejected petitioners' remaining contentions and denied the petition for review. View "Raymond J. Lucia Co. v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The SEC created a new class of securities offerings freed from federal-registration requirements so long as the issuers of these securities comply with certain investor safeguards (Regulation A-Plus). Petitioners, the chief securities regulators for Massachusetts and Montana, seek review of Regulation A-Plus. The court concluded that, because Regulation A-Plus does not conflict with Congress’s unambiguous intent, it does not falter at Chevron Step 1. Furthermore, because the Commission’s qualified-purchaser definition is not “arbitrary, capricious, or manifestly contrary to the statute,” it does not fail Chevron Step 2. By providing a reasoned analysis of how its qualified-purchaser definition strikes the “appropriate balance between mitigating cost and time demands on issuers and providing investor protections,” the court concluded that the Commission has complied with its statutory obligation under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 702. Accordingly, the court denied the consolidated petitions for review. View "Lindeen v. SEC" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenges a joint regulation implementing a section of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), 15 U.S.C. 78o-11. Congress added that particular section to the Exchange Act in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Pub. L. No. 111-203, 941, 124 Stat. 1376. The court concluded that the Exchange Act provides a limited grant of jurisdiction, and only rules implementing specific, enumerated sections of the Act are entitled to direct review. Because Congress knew how to add sections to that list, but chose not to do so here, the court lacked jurisdiction over the appeal. Accordingly, the court transferred the petitions “in the interest of justice” to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. View "The Loan Syndications Assoc. v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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Petitioner challenges a joint regulation implementing a section of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), 15 U.S.C. 78o-11. Congress added that particular section to the Exchange Act in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Pub. L. No. 111-203, 941, 124 Stat. 1376. The court concluded that the Exchange Act provides a limited grant of jurisdiction, and only rules implementing specific, enumerated sections of the Act are entitled to direct review. Because Congress knew how to add sections to that list, but chose not to do so here, the court lacked jurisdiction over the appeal. Accordingly, the court transferred the petitions “in the interest of justice” to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. View "The Loan Syndications Assoc. v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The SEC brought an administrative proceeding against George Jarkesy, Jr., for securities fraud. Meanwhile, Jarkesy filed this suit seeking the administrative proceeding's termination, arguing that the proceeding’s initiation and conduct infringe his constitutional rights. The district court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that Congress, by establishing a detailed statutory scheme providing for an administrative proceeding before the Commission plus the prospect of judicial review in a court of appeals, implicitly precluded concurrent district-court jurisdiction over challenges like Jarkesy’s. In Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Reich, the Supreme Court set forth a framework for determining when a statutory scheme of administrative and judicial review forecloses parallel district-court jurisdiction. Applying the considerations outlined in Thunder Basin and its progeny, the court found that Congress intended exclusivity when it established the statutory scheme. Consequently, instead of obtaining judicial review of his challenges to the Commission’s administrative proceeding now, Jarkesy can secure judicial review in a court of appeals when (and if) the proceeding culminates in a resolution against him. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Jarkesy, Jr. v. SEC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against the SEC to invalidate a four-year-old rule, promulgated under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. 80b, regulating campaign contributions by investment advisers. The district court dismissed the suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs appealed and concurrently filed a petition asking this court for direct review. The court consolidated and expedited the cases. The court held that courts of appeals have exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to rules promulgated under the Investment Advisers Act. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. The court further held that such challenges must be brought in this court within sixty days of promulgation of the rule, and there are no grounds for an exception in this case: The law governing where to file was clear during the limitations period, and the length of time the statute affords for pre-enforcement review is adequate. Therefore, the court dismissed the petition as time-barred. View "New York Republican State Comm. v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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Petitioner, a mutual fund, challenged the Commission's denial of an exemption from rules governing the calculation and reporting of petitioner's deferred tax liability. The court concluded that petitioner’s attacks on the Commission’s “hypothetical speculation” affords no basis for setting aside the Commission’s reasonable conclusion that petitioner’s proposal to provide for only a small fraction of its full potential tax liability may result in inequitable treatment of redeeming and non-redeeming shareholders, contradicting a primary purpose of the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. 80a-22(a). The court rejected petitioner's remaining claims. Accordingly, petitioner's arguments fail to carry the high burden required to overturn the Commission’s denial of an exemption and, therefore, the court denied the petition for review. View "Copley Fund, Inc. v. SEC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law, Tax Law

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The Bank and a group of States challenged the constitutionality of various provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376. The district court concluded that plaintiffs lacked standing and that their claims were not ripe. The court concluded that the Bank has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and that claim is ripe. Therefore, the court reversed as to that claim and remanded for reconsideration in the first instance the Bank’s constitutional challenge to the Bureau. The court also concluded that the Bank has standing to challenge Director Cordray’s recess appointment, and that claim is ripe. Therefore, the court reversed as to that claim and remanded for reconsideration in the first instance the Bank’s constitutional challenge to the recess appointment. The court further concluded that the Bank lacks standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and affirmed the judgment as to that claim. Finally, the court concluded that the State plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the Government’s orderly liquidation authority, and that claim is not ripe. Therefore, the court affirmed as to that claim. View "State Nat'l Bank of Big Spring v. Lew" on Justia Law

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The Bank and a group of States challenged the constitutionality of various provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376. The district court concluded that plaintiffs lacked standing and that their claims were not ripe. The court concluded that the Bank has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and that claim is ripe. Therefore, the court reversed as to that claim and remanded for reconsideration in the first instance the Bank’s constitutional challenge to the Bureau. The court also concluded that the Bank has standing to challenge Director Cordray’s recess appointment, and that claim is ripe. Therefore, the court reversed as to that claim and remanded for reconsideration in the first instance the Bank’s constitutional challenge to the recess appointment. The court further concluded that the Bank lacks standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and affirmed the judgment as to that claim. Finally, the court concluded that the State plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the Government’s orderly liquidation authority, and that claim is not ripe. Therefore, the court affirmed as to that claim. View "State Nat'l Bank of Big Spring v. Lew" on Justia Law