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Regulatory Enforcement

We have substantial experience representing organizations and individuals in civil enforcement investigations conducted by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the New York Attorney General, and other state attorneys general, as well as SROs including FINRA, the CME, and ICE.  Our thorough understanding of markets, financial products, and securities industry practices makes us an asset for our clients in defending investigations where subject matter knowledge combined with effective advocacy can greatly influence a regulator’s perception of the conduct under investigation.  This is critical in an arena where the initiation of an enforcement action may mean the end of a career or the end of a franchise.

Representative Matters

  • All defendants in SEC v. Yorkville Advisors, LLC, Mark Angelo and Edward Schinik, 12-cv-7728 (GBD)(SDNY), an SEC enforcement action alleging that a cherry-picked handful of positions in Yorkville’s nearly $1 billion portfolio were over-valued in the midst of the financial crisis.  On March 29, 2018, the Court granted our Daubert motion challenging the admissibility of the SEC’s valuation expert, and also granted partial summary judgment, gutting the SEC’s valuation claims.  Memorandum decision and order available here
  • A subprime whole loan trader in a civil FIRREA investigation into the securitization practices of a large investment bank.  Our briefing on the pending motion to dismiss is available here and here
  • The former CFO of a public company in an SEC investigation concerning the disclosure of certain non-GAAP operating metrics
  • Futures traders in joint CFTC and CME investigations of allegedly disruptive trading in energy futures contracts
  • A futures trader at a large South American bank in a CME investigation of alleged spoofing
  • A trader at a high frequency trading firm in a CFTC investigation of alleged spoofing
  • A structured products sales representative at a major broker-dealer in SEC and FINRA investigations of allegedly deceptive sales tactics
  • A managing director at a large investment bank in a FINRA investigation concerning alleged gaming of compliance e-learning certifications
  • Two Russia-based traders in an SEC enforcement action alleging that inside information was hacked from newswire sites, which settled on favorable terms
  • An Asia-based employee of an investment bank in an SEC investigation of hiring practices
  • A supply chain executive in an SEC investigation of alleged violations of the FCPA
  • The majority owner of a private equity firm in an SEC investigation of allegedly improper expense allocation
  • A private wealth advisor in an investigation of potential insider trading


  • A sell-side equity research analyst in an SEC investigation settled on favorable terms after white paper and Wells submissions
  • A hedge fund in an SEC investigation into valuation practices where the SEC terminated its investigation pre-Wells after certain irregular investigative tactics led to the recusal of a regional office
  • A major investment bank in ICE and CME investigations into the malfunction of an automated trading system that erroneously generated a large volume of futures trades, both of which settled on favorable terms
  • A hedge fund in an SEC investigation into certain allegedly irregular redemption practices, in which the Staff issued a closing letter
  • Two Dubai-based traders in SEC v.  One or More Unknown Traders in the Securities of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SDNY), in which our clients’ trading profits were wrongfully frozen by the SEC, we appeared to defend the case, and we obtained a voluntary dismissal of the complaint and the release of all frozen assets
  • The former chief global and U.S. equity strategist at a major investment bank in a FINRA investigation of conflict-of-interest disclosure practices, which was settled on favorable terms
  • A trader based in Estonia whose large trading profits had been frozen by the SEC because he allegedly traded on inside information about corporate transactions he stole from Business Wire’s website, for whom we negotiated a settlement that permitted the release of a significant percentage of his profits
  • A major accounting firm in a New York Attorney General’s Office Martin Act investigation of the audit of several Madoff “feeder” funds, which was terminated with no action taken
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