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It has been nearly 60 years since the SEC first clearly prohibited insider trading in its 1961 decision in In re Cady, Roberts & Co. You would think that would be long enough for the doctrinal rules to have become reasonably clear. Think again! The recent evidence shows otherwise: A month ago, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe for the Southern District of New York permitted a defendant who had plead guilty to insider trading charges in 2013 to withdraw his guilty plea because there had been “insufficient” evidence that a personal benefit had been paid by the tippee to the tipper. See, United States v. Lee, 13-Cr.-00539 (PGG). Lee shows the continuing impact of United States v. Newman, 773 F.3d 438 (2d Cir. 2014). Newman had been limited by the Supreme Court in Salman v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 420 (2016) and seemingly laid to rest earlier this year by the Second Circuit’s decision in Gupta v. United States, 913 F.3d 81 (2d Cir. 2019). Nonetheless, Newman retains enough residual vitality to necessitate a new trial for Richard Lee, a former trader at now defunct SAC Capital. Pundits are predicting that the case will discourage the government from bringing cases involving remote tippees.
By Joseph F. Savage Jr. and Christopher J.C. Herbert
In an environment of aggressive federal prosecution and regulation both businesses and public officials are challenged to identify the permissible line between proper financial transactions — things like campaign contributions and business entertainment — and unlawful payments. And, in what the First Circuit called a “novel theory of Hobbs Act extortion,” public officials now have to struggle with the scope of permissible advocacy — when does advocacy for constituents become extortion?
By Harry Sandick and Tara Norris
Part One of a Two-Part Article
In its recently ended October Term 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court decided several notable criminal law decisions that will have a meaningful impact on white-collar practitioners’ work and, importantly, offer clues regarding the movement of the criminal law in subsequent terms. In this two-part article, we review several of the key decisions and consider their implications, both for practitioners in this area and for Court-watchers interested in future Court decisions.
By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton recently announced a change in how the SEC will consider requests for waivers of certain serious collateral consequences that would otherwise result from settlement of an SEC enforcement action. These collateral consequences, often referred to as “bad actor” or “bad boy” provisions, can vary greatly and may disqualify an entity from conducting certain business or utilizing certain means to offer securities.
By Juliet Gunev
Canadian Clean Fuel Technology Company and Former CEO Pay $4.1 Million to Settle China Related FCPA Case