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The Legal Stuff
Government Enforcement Exposed - "The GEE"
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09 Nov 2017 SEC Scrutiny Brings Sanity to Hot ICO Market

  Initial coin offerings (ICO) originally became popular because they appeared to hold the promise of easy access to capital, in exchange for a virtual token with some desirable function. For example, Playkey—an online gaming company—is presently raising money by selling tokens that will allow holders to access high powered computer systems for gaming. ICOs have raised more than $3 billion in 2017.   The tokens from these offerings can appreciate in value either because they are limited in number or because they are tied to the growth of the issuer’s enterprise. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has deemed the later kind of token to be a security. Accordingly, any entity seeking to offer tokens reflecting the value of the enterprise needs to follow…

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23 Jan 2015 THIRD CIRCUIT UPHOLDS SECURITIES FRAUD CONVICTION OF CANADIAN STOCK BROKER WHERE “IRREVOCABLE LIABILITY” FOR TRANSACTIONS OCCURRED IN THE UNITED STATES

On Jan. 20, 2015, the Third Circuit upheld former Canadian stockbroker George Georgiou’s securities fraud conviction under Section 10(b) of Securities Exchange Act, determining that the transactions were “domestic” under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act because “irrevocable liability” for the transactions occurred in the United States.   The opinion provides further clarification of the United States Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. that Section 10(b) applies to deceptive conduct in (1) the purchase or sale of a security listed on an American stock exchange, or (2) the purchase or sale of any other security in the United States.   Georgiou had been convicted for manipulating the market of four United States stocks listed on the OTC Bulletin Board…

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19 Jun 2014 IS THE SEC POISED TO BRING MORE ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS IN WAKE OF INSIDER TRADING TRIAL COURT LOSSES?

  In recent remarks, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney said the SEC may pursue more insider trading actions administratively. The statements came in the wake of several recent trial losses by the FCC in insider trading cases.   Insider trading administrative proceedings have been rare, but the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act enhanced the SEC’s administrative enforcement powers by allowing the SEC to obtain monetary penalties against individuals in administrative proceedings, making administrative actions against insider trading more attractive.   While Ceresney stressed that the trend towards more administrative enforcement proceedings was not in reaction to the SEC’s recent insider trading trial court losses, it signals a shift in venue that potentially could give the SEC procedural advantages, including expedited proceedings, discovery limitations and no option for…

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