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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

With Bipartisan Support, House Passes Explicit Ban on Insider Trading

The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a bill that aims to create the first federal statute explicitly banning insider trading. By a 410-13 margin, the House voted to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to prohibit financial trades based on confidential information and related communications by those who possess material, nonpublic information.

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SEC Enforcement Report Signals Increased Enforcement, Lingering Limitations from Kokesh

Last week on November 6, 2019, the SEC Enforcement Division released its annual report on the Commission’s enforcement activities for the fiscal year. This article discusses prominent takeaways from the report, and what these and other findings mean for companies under the SEC’s jurisdiction.

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Supreme Court to Decide Validity of SEC Disgorgement Actions

On November 2, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in Liu v. SEC to address whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has authority to recover disgorgement of ill-gotten profits from violators of the federal securities laws.This decision comes after the Ninth Circuit upheld the District Court’s order, which awarded summary judgment to the SEC with respect to its claim that Liu and his wife committed securities fraud by raising approximately $27 million from Chinese investors under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 2018.2

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Don’t Get “Pulled-In”: Marvell Fined by SEC for Failing to Disclose Aggressive Sales Plan

The SEC recently entered into a settlement with Marvell Technology Group, Ltd., based on Marvell’s manipulation of revenue reported in the company’s public statements. Marvell used so-called “pull-ins” — in which the company pulled revenue from future quarters into the current quarter — to mislead investors about the company’s ability to meet its revenue targets.

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Proposed Law Seeks to Seal “8-K Trading Gap”

The recently proposed 8-K Trading Gap Act of 2019 seeks to address a perceived loophole in current insider trading laws, creating additional regulation and potential source of insider trading liability for directors and executives. In September 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of some 147 million people.

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Nissan Agrees to Pay $16.1 Million to Settle SEC’s Claim of Fraudulent CEO Compensation

Despite never paying any of the compensation at issue and without admitting or denying the allegations, the Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (“Nissan”) agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) $15 million to settle a claim that it engaged in a $140 million fraudulent compensation scheme. On Monday, the SEC announced the settlement with Nissan, its former Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn (“Ghosn”), and its former director Greg Kelly (“Kelly”). Ghosn and Kelly agreed to pay the SEC $1 million and $100 thousand, respectively.

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