Mark Cuban Takes on SEC Again

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Law360, Los Angeles (October 30, 2015, 9:52 PM ET) — The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday allowed billionaire Mark Cuban, a self-described victim of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission overreach, to file a third-party brief backing real estate developer Charles L. Hill, who is challenging the SEC’s expanded but controversial use of administrative law judges.

Cuban, an entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks who beat insider trading allegations brought against him by the SEC in 2013 after a jury trial, argued in an amicus brief filed with the court Thursday that the SEC’s aggressive use of a “defective” in-house tribunal creates unpredictability that harms the public’s best interests.

The SEC is virtually undefeated in in-house administrative proceedings, Cuban said, but is far less successful when it litigates in federal court.

“When the SEC has the ability to significantly influence the outcome of a complex, credibility-based matter such as its insider trading case against Mr. Cuban — or its insider trading case against Mr. Hill — merely by placing it into an administrative proceeding rather than a federal court, investors’ ability to predict the types of conduct that will, or will not, result in sanction is diminished, and the free flow of capital is impeded,” the 39-page brief states.

Cuban said that the SEC’s designation of administrative law judges as employees and not officers creates an “inherently biased proceeding” in which the judges are pressured to favor the SEC’s division of enforcement in administrative proceedings, according to the brief.

“The SEC seeks to force Mr. Hill to litigate similar [insider trading] issues before an ALJ that the SEC states has the status of a low-level functionary, a mere employee, with neither the stature (nor political accountability) of an officer nor the independence of a federal judge,” he said.

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SEC Passes Equity Crowdfunding Rules-A Boon For BDs?

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Will New Regs Create A Boon For BDs?  Brother, Can You Raise $1mil?

(–If only coincident to the Halloween Trick or Treat Holiday, it’s now official, on Friday Oct 30 the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) passed new equity crowdfund regs, opening the path to what some believe will be a multi-billion dollar tidal wave of startup funding, and also, what more cautious experts believe could be an entirely new cycle of speculative investing by unsophisticated investors. The new rules approved will make it easier for start-ups to sell shares directly to the masses. Brother, can you spare $1million?

They could also be big business for a broad universe of broker-dealers, as well as handful of Los Angeles firms (among many others) that want to act as the stock exchanges where these deals will take place.

The rules, which will take effect in about six months, allow private companies to raise up to $1 million a year from small-time investors without most of the reporting and auditing required of larger firms or companies raising more money.

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SEC New Rules Requiring BrokerCheck Links

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a Finra rule that would require brokerage firms to include a link to a public database containing background information about their brokers on their websites.

Under the rule, a brokerage will have to include a “readily apparent reference and hyperlink” to BrokerCheck on a homepage that is initially viewed by retail investors. It also would have to include links to the database on profile pages of individual brokers.

The rule will go into effect no later than 180 days after the SEC approval order is published in the Federal Register. It’s not clear when the order will appear there. provides the world’s largest database of registered broker-dealers operating across 35 countries worldwide

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How Feds Find Bad Actor Wall Street Traders-CNTRL-F blog

Wall Street broker-dealer traders beware, the FEEBS aka FEDS aka DOJ as well as SEC are building an acronym library to filter and find incriminating dialogue within email and chat messages, according to a recent news piece from Bloomberg LP. For alphabet soup aficionados and algorithm authors, the following suggests that brokerdealers will need to be coming up with a new code language to keep hidden from law enforcement eyes peering into emails and IMs. is home to the global market’s largest database of brokerdealers operating in more than 30 countries across the free world.

(Bloomberg) — Criminals always slip up. They leave behind fingerprints. Hair. A cigarette butt.

A telltale acronym.

TYOP (tell you on phone), TOL (talk offline) and LDL (let’s discuss live) are red flags for prosecutors combing through the e-mail transcripts of Wall Street traders suspected of illegal activity. No need for a crime lab. A simple search — Control-F on the computer keyboard — has become one of investigators’ favorite weapons to uncover possible lawbreaking, according to defense attorneys and current and former prosecutors who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

“Taking a conversation offline provides evidence of intent because if you’re trying to cover your tracks, you probably know what you’re doing is wrong,” said Eugene Ingoglia, a partner at Morvillo LLP and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Phrases such as “call my cell” and “let’s go off e- mail” remain popular among the people who plot insider trades or the rigging of some of the world’s biggest markets. New expressions and acronyms pop up all the time, and authorities say they build lists of favored terms.

Evasion techniques can get creative. Raj Rajaratnam, the fund manager convicted in 2011 of insider trading, would write “fon” instead of “phone.” Prosecutors said they suspected the intentional misspelling was meant to distract the all-seeing electronic Javert of Control-F.


Suggestive Phrases Continue reading

SEC Issues Risk Alert on Broker-Dealer Controls

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SEC Issues Risk Alert on Broker-Dealer Controls Regarding Retail Sales of Structured Securities Products blog update is courtesy of the following extract from

On August 24, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ National Examination Program staff (Staff) released a Risk Alert summarizing findings from an examination of 10 broker-dealers (Firms). The Staff evaluated whether the Firms effectively supervised and monitored the risks and activities associated with sales of structured securities products (SSPs) to retail investors. provides the world’s most comprehensive database of broker-dealers operating in more than 30 countries throughout the world.

The examinations revealed significant deficiencies in all of the Firms, including that they failed to maintain and enforce adequate controls to determine suitability of SSP recommendations. The Staff noted that the Firms’ written supervisory procedures related to reviews of representatives’ determinations of customer suitability were also deficient and the Staff cited all of the examined Firms for such deficiencies.

Click here to read the Risk Alert.