Category:

Fraud & Abuse

Insider Trading Isn’t Illegal if You Are a Member of Congress

Jon Ossoff, the freshman Senator from Georgia, has made it clear that he intends to put forth a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks. This is a policy that seems likely to fail, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary. It is estimated that members of Congress and their families bought and sold over $500 million worth of assets. That’s not to say that all these trades were based on information not available to the general public, but it is clear that there is a massive conflict of interest in allowing law makers to trade stocks when their job is intrinsically tied to making decisions that affect the price of stocks.

White House Issues Guidance Regarding Fighting Corruption

On December 6, 2021, the White House issued a consolidated federal strategy regarding fighting corruption that threatens national security. The memorandum directed a number of federal departments to conduct interagency reviews that allowed them to come together and proceed with a joint strategy to combat corruption in the United States.  

America’s Fight Against Robocalls

Robocalls are an increasing threat to Americans across the country. In 2020, American consumers received nearly 4 billion robocalls per month. This number quickly increased in March 2021 when Americans received 4.9 billion robocalls. Although not all robocalls are illegal, illegal robocalls hurt Americans by spamming them to market a product. Americans have a choice to give their written consent, but the issue stems from robocalls marketing products without written consent. About 60 million Americans say they have been a victim to phone scams in the last year and have lost nearly $30 billion as a result. Unfortunately, despite the FCC and FTC increasingly targeting spammers and illegal robocalls, it is difficult to say when this problem will end.

The Free Britney Movement and the Call for Conservatorship Reform

Britney Spears: global pop superstar, Grammy award winner, songwriter, dancer, and … the face of the conservatorship reform movement? Ms. Spears can add a new line onto her prolific resume, as legal issues stemming from her decade-plus long conservatorship have shed a light on conservatorship abuse. Britney has subsequently fueled the push to reform conservatorship regulations that affect over an estimated 1.3 million adults in the United States.

House Moves to Bolster Supply Chain and Network Security

On October 20, the House of Representatives passed several bills directed at the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) that may impact network security compliance measures affecting U.S. businesses.  These bills take aim at much of the software and network technology used by companies within the supply chain to ensure that security is not dismissed in the effort to cut costs and to maintain healthy competition between network communication equipment vendors.

The Rule 10b5-1 Plan: How Executives Unload Stock Without Fear of Insider Trading Accusations

Many of the most valuable companies in the world today began as small start-ups owned by a few visionary entrepreneurs. As those companies become increasingly valuable, so does the stock held by those founders. It is no secret that much of the wealth amassed by the richest people on the planet is tied up in the stock of their companies. When CEOs and other executives sell a large portion of their incredibly valuable stock, how do they avoid accusations of insider trading? The answer: they implement a Rule 10b5-1 plan.

Mattresses & Money Laundering

Puja Valera Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2023 Mattresses and money laundering – two very different topics that have been intertwined in mystery and conspiracy. On Medium, a journalist reported that a reddit user first introduced the concept that Mattress Firm, the largest mattress retailer in the world, is actually a …
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The Pandora Papers and the Bank Secrecy Act

The recent Pandora Papers leak in October 2021 shined the light on the massive and intricate web of offshore accounting that allows for insurmountable amounts of wealth to be hidden throughout the world. One of the most shocking revelations of these Papers was how heavily the United States was implicated in creating and perpetuating this system. As such, legislators have been pressured to find a way to crackdown on this sort of offshore money. One way that they have proposed addressing the problem is by amending the United States’ current criminal financial legislation, the Bank Secrecy Act.

The Story That Sounded Too Good to Be True Was, Indeed, Too Good to Be True.

The process of the criminal trial of the youngest woman self-made billionaire, has recently started up again after being stalled due to Covid restrictions in the past year. Former CEO and founder of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and her former president and one-time boyfriend, Ramesh Balwani, have been accused of misleading investors and raising hundreds of millions of dollars by making false or exaggerated claims in defiance of the anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws. While she is currently facing a federal indictment on twelve different charges, including two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and ten counts of wire fraud, Holmes has already settled her civil charges, which were brought forth by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The civil charges brought forth by the SEC have now put Silicon Valley on alert by ensuring that technology companies who claim that they have a new groundbreaking technology that can change the world must be based on factual evidence, not purely myths.

SEC Brings First Charges Involving Regulation Crowdfunding

On September 20, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission charged three individuals with conducting fraudulent crowdfunding schemes while also bringing charges against the crowdfunding portal where the offerings were conducted in SEC v. Shumake. As the first case being pursued under Regulation Crowdfunding, a number of questions wait on the horizon regarding the responsibility of crowdfunding platforms to protect investors when orchestrating such offerings.