September 28, 2017 Two months after its Investor Bulletin stating that U.S. securities laws may apply to digital token sales, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced Monday two new initiatives to address cyber-based threats and protect retail investors. The SEC’s press release outlined the creation of the Cyber Unit (“Unit”) and the Retail Strategy Task … Continue Reading
On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a second denial of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (“ETF”), following its rejection of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust earlier this month (Reed Smith commentary is available here). SolidX Bitcoin Trust would hold bitcoin as its primary asset, together with smaller amounts of cash. Theft of … Continue Reading
On March 10, 2017, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC“) issued an order disapproving BATS BZX Exchange’s proposal to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. The proposal, if granted, would have established a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (“ETF“) that market participants could invest in through the BATS BZX Exchange platform. The SEC rejected … Continue Reading
Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Enforcement Division Director Andrew Ceresney, recently drew attention when he announced that the SEC intends to include among its enforcement priorities compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”). Ceresney’s comments, made during SIFMA’s 2015 Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference, focused on broker-dealers and the SEC’s concern that broker-dealers … Continue Reading
The SEC has been increasingly active in its enforcement efforts in the municipal securities market. Such efforts are being conducted through its Municipal Securities and Public Pensions unit, which was one of the five specialized enforcement units the SEC first created in 2010.
In 2014, the SEC boldly acted in this area by offering a deal to underwriters and issuers of municipal securities, incentivizing them to self-report potential securities laws violations. The program, the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation ("MCDC") initiative, offered underwriters and issuers the opportunity to self-report possible disclosure violations based on the requirements of Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act. Generally, Rule 15c2-12 prohibits underwriters from selling municipal securities unless the issuers have agreed to make certain continuing disclosures regarding certain financial information, operating data, and material events affecting the municipal securities. The MCDC initiative invited underwriters and issuers of municipal securities to self-report potential securities fraud violations, asking underwriters and issuers to identify those transactions within the prior five years whose offering documents contained potentially inaccurate statements regarding prior compliance by the issuer with 15c2-12 continuing disclosure obligations.… Continue Reading
This post was also written by James C. Martin. In SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., 2014 WL 2486793 (2d Cir. June 4, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed and vacated U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff’s controversial 2011 decision refusing to approve a consensual settlement agreement between the SEC … Continue Reading