Archives: Enforcement

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Spoofing Enforcement Heats Up with Recent Filing Wave and New Legal Charges

The U.S. Government’s fiscal year-end filing rush has resulted in a wave of new spoofing enforcement.  In August, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Criminal Division charged four individuals with spoofing in precious metals futures markets.  In September, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) brought overlapping charges against three of those individuals, … Continue Reading

CFTC Settles Wheat Manipulation Case against Kraft and Mondelēz

On August 14, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent order (the “Consent Order”)—agreed to by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), Kraft Foods Group Inc. (“Kraft”) and Mondelēz Global LLC (“Mondelēz”)—to resolve long-running market manipulation litigation between the parties.… Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Confidential Supervisory Information and FOIA Procedures

On June 14, 2019, the Federal Reserve Board (“Federal Reserve”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPR”) requesting public comment on updates to its regulations governing the disclosure of confidential supervisory information (“CSI”) and its Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) procedures. Although the Federal Reserve classified many of the proposed revisions as “clarifications” or “technical … Continue Reading

FDIC Releases First Edition of Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights

On June 13, 2019, the FDIC released its first edition of Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights, the purpose of which is to increase transparency regarding the FDIC’s consumer compliance supervisory activities. The publication provides a high-level overview of the consumer compliance issues identified through approximately 1,200 consumer compliance examinations conducted in 2018 for non-member state-chartered banks … Continue Reading

New York DFS Revamps Its Consumer Protection Arm

On April 29, 2019 the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) announced that it has created a new division, called the Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division, which combines the previously separate Enforcement Division and Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Division. The new division will be “responsible for protecting and educating consumers and … Continue Reading

FinCEN Penalizes Peer-to-Peer Virtual Currency Exchanger for Violating BSA

On April 18, 2019, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced an enforcement action against Eric Powers, a California-based peer-to-peer (P2P) virtual currency exchanger, for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).  This marks the first time FinCEN has taken action against a P2P virtual currency exchanger and the first time it … Continue Reading

CFPB to Provide More Information in Civil Investigative Demands

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced Tuesday that going forward the agency will provide more information in its Civil Investigative Demands (“CIDs”).  The American Bankers Association and others had voiced concerns about the often vague and expansive scope of such demands in response to the Bureau’s 2018 Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking feedback on … Continue Reading

CFPB Director Kraninger Outlines Approach in First Major Speech

On April 17, 2019, CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger outlined her approach in executing the Bureau’s statutory mission in a speech to the Bipartisan Policy Center. This was Director Kraninger’s first major speech since taking the helm at the Bureau. Kraninger’s remarks were organized around the tools that the Bureau will utilize to advance its core mission … Continue Reading

CFPB Announces Settlement with Broker of High-Interest Credit Offers to Veterans

On January 23, 2019, the CFPB announced a settlement with Mark Corbett following an investigation by the Bureau, the Arkansas Attorney General, and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs into Mr. Corbett’s brokerage of contracts offering high-interest credit to veterans.  As detailed in the consent order, Mr. Corbett facilitated high-interest contracts between veterans and … Continue Reading

Financial Agencies Release Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

On December 3, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) (collectively, “agencies”) released a joint statement on innovative efforts to combat money … Continue Reading

OCC Risk Report Trumpets Strong Bank Performance, But Warns of Emerging Risks

On December 3, 2018, the National Risk Committee (“NRC”) of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Fall 2018. The report analyzes the condition of the federal banking system using data reported by national banks and federal savings associations as of June 30, 2018. The analysis covers … Continue Reading

BCFP Reaches Settlement with Small-Dollar Lender in Connection with Allegedly “Abusive” Practice

On October 24, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“BCFP” or the “Bureau”) announced that it had reached a settlement with Tennessee-based small-dollar lender and check casher, Cash Express LLC, which agreed to resolve the Bureau’s claims by paying a $200,000 fine and approximately $32,000 in restitution to affected consumers.  The consent order includes … Continue Reading

State Securities Regulators Step Up Scrutiny of Cryptoassets and ICOs

On October 10, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”)—an association of state, provincial, and territorial securities regulators in the United States, Mexico, and Canada—released its annual Enforcement Report (the “Report”). The Report demonstrates that, while stepped-up enforcement activity has been observed at the federal level with respect to cryptoasset markets, state regulators are increasingly … Continue Reading

OCC Releases Bank Supervision Operating Plan for Fiscal Year 2019

On September 25, 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released its bank supervision operating plan for fiscal year (“FY”) 2019, which begins October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019.  Developed by the OCC’s Committee on Bank Supervision (“CBS”) to align with “The OCC’s Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2019-2023” and the … Continue Reading

Banking Regulators Issue Joint Policy Statement Downplaying the Role of Supervisory Guidance in Enforcement

On September 11, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”, and, collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a statement “clarifying the role of supervisory guidance.” The release … Continue Reading

BCFP Enters Consent Order with Hydra Group

On August 10, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announced that a federal district court in the Western District of Missouri approved a consent order in a case against a set of twenty corporate entities and two individual principals (collectively, “Hydra Group”). The BCFP alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 … Continue Reading

Market Trends 2017/18: Securities Regulation and Enforcement

The enforcement and regulatory priorities of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have begun to come into focus now that SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has been in office for over a year. Courts have also issued decisions that will significantly impact securities enforcement moving forward. This practice note discusses the Supreme Court’s recent decision holding that … Continue Reading

Hiring of Administrative Law Judges to Change

A recent United States Supreme Court case and new executive order will change the way federal agencies hire administrative law judges (“ALJs”), and together are expected to increase ALJs’ accountability to the heads of their agencies. On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court held in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission that the … Continue Reading

The CFTC’s Active Week: Virtual Currencies in Focus

This past week has been an especially active one for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). On Monday, in a speech to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), CFTC Chairman Giancarlo announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation between state securities regulators and the CFTC — particularly with respect to prosecuting … Continue Reading

Australia and Malta Adopt Different Approaches to Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulation

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (“AUSTRAC”) recently implemented a new regulation for digital currency exchange providers operating in Australia called the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (Digital Currency Exchange Register) Policy Principles 2018.  AUSTRAC is Australia’s financial intelligence agency and is responsible for the enforcement of Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act … Continue Reading

SEC Proposal Dives Into Long-Standing Debate About the Duties of Investment Professionals

On Wednesday, April 18th, the SEC introduced a much-anticipated package of proposed rules and formal guidance concerning the standards of conduct for financial professionals. The more than 1,000-page proposal, which emerged eight years after Congress required the agency to conduct a study on the topic, addresses whether investment advisers and broker-dealers should have identical or … Continue Reading

FTC Files Comments with CFPB on CID Processes

On March 26, 2018, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (“BCP”) filed a comment in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Request for Information on the procedures for issuing Civil Investigative Demands. In large part, the comment summarizes the BCP’s experience with its own CID program and highlights the … Continue Reading
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