Tagged: SEC

Marijuana Investments and Fraud Featured in SEC Investor Alert

David Marx

The marijuana industry is attracting considerable interest from investors, and unfortunately, scam artists trying to take advantage of those investors. In response to these concerns, on September 5, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Retail Strategy Task Force issued an alert to investors warning them about investment schemes involving marijuana-related companies. According to the release, the OIEA...

SEC Approves Series of Final and Proposed Rules in Line with Stated Priorities

Cam C. Hoang

The SEC held a very busy open meeting yesterday, voting on the following final and proposed rules: Adoption of amendments to modernize the definition of “smaller reporting company,” which was established in 2008.  See our previous discussion of the amendments.   Adoption of amendments to require the use of the Inline XBRL format in certain filings, which were proposed in 2017 and have been under...

SEC Expands on “Smaller Reporting Companies” Eligible for Scaled Disclosure

Cam C. Hoang

The SEC announced that it has voted to amend the definition of “smaller reporting company,” or “SRC,” expanding the population of companies that qualify for a range of scaled (reduced) disclosure requirements. The rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Examples of scaled disclosure include that SRCs, in their annual reports on Form 10-K, are not obligated to include risk...

Ninth Circuit Rejects Decisions of Five Other Circuits: Exchange Act Section 14(e) Does Not Require Scienter

Thomas O. Gorman

Scienter has been a critical element of a claim based on Exchange Act Section 10(b) in an SEC enforcement action since the Supreme Court’s decision in Aaron v. SEC, 446 U.S. 680 (1980). It has also been a key element in private damage actions based on the cause of action implied under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 since Ernst & Ernst v. Hochfelder, 425 U.S....

Recent Developments in Auditor Tenure and Independence

Nicole H. Strydom

Last month, over 35% of General Electric Co.’s shareholders voted against ratification of KPMG LLC as GE’s auditor. This high level of opposition (for some context, last year’s votes against KPMG were at a mere 5.7%) comes in the wake of GE’s recent accounting issues and criticism from proxy-advisory firms. More specifically, the SEC is currently investigating some of GE’s accounting practices, including its need...

Failure to Disclose Leads to $35 Million Penalty in the Yahoo! Cybersecurity Breach

Cam C. Hoang

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced Tuesday that Altaba, the entity formerly known as Yahoo! Inc., has agreed to pay a $35 million penalty to settle charges that it misled investors by failing to disclose one of the world’s largest data breaches in which hackers stole personal data relating to hundreds of millions of user accounts. According to the SEC’s order, within days...

NYSE Rule Change Requires Ten Minutes Advance Notice of Public Announcement of Dividends or Stock Distributions

Jason Brenkert

On August 14, 2017, the SEC approved an NYSE rule change that requires listed companies to give notice to the NYSE at least 10 minutes before any public announcement of dividends or stock distributions, even if such announcements occur outside the hours of the Exchange’s current immediate release policy. The rule change was effective immediately. The Exchange’s immediate release policy (Sections 202.05 and 202.06 of...

SEC Warns That ICOs and Other Internet Token Sales May Be Securities Offerings Subject to Federal Securities Laws

Whitney Holmes

On Tuesday, July 25, as many practitioners probably expected, the SEC issued a warning that offers and sales of digital assets (virtual coins or tokens) by organizations using blockchain or distributed ledger technology (often referred to, among other things, as Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) or Token Sales) are subject to the requirements of the federal securities laws. Depending on the offering, investors may use an...

All Issuers Eligible to Confidentially Submit Draft IPO Registration Statements

Steven Khadavi

One of the more utilized provisions of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) has been the confidential submission of IPO registration statements by Emerging Growth Companies (EGCs) to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The nonpublic nature of the SEC review process has allowed EGCs to submit IPO registration statements and respond to SEC comments outside the public eye and without having to alert...

SEC Charges CEO with Failing to Disclose Perks to Shareholders

Cam C. Hoang

Companies frequently wrestle with perks in their proxy executive compensation disclosure. Whether an item constitutes a perk often requires judgment based on the facts and circumstances,¹ and disclosure may elicit intense, public scrutiny over what amounts to a relatively small percentage of an executive’s total compensation package.² From time to time, the SEC issues a cautionary tale that perks need to be accounted for and reported...