Monday, March 2, 2015

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review

SEC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

SEC Charges Goodyear with FCPA Violations
February 24, 2015(Litigation Release No. 38)
The SEC found Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company to be in violation with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) due to bribes paid by subsidiaries in Kenya and Angola to land tire sales. According to the SEC, Goodyear failed to prevent or detect over $3.2 million in bribes over a four-year period. Bribes were paid to employees of private companies and government-owned entities and local police and city council officials. Goodyear has agreed to pay more than $16 million in a settlement.

SEC Salt Lake Office Director Karen Martinez to Retire from Public Service
February 26, 2015(Litigation Release No. 39)
Karen Martinez is retiring this summer after serving as Regional Director of the SEC’s Salt Lake office since 2013. She first joined the SEC’s Salt Lake office as a Trial Counsel in 2002 and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2010. Ms. Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho and went on to earn a Master’s in Mathematics and a law degree from the University of Utah.

SEC Announces Agenda for March 4 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies
February 27, 2015(Litigation Release No. 41)
The SEC’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies will next meet on March 4 and will discuss secondary market liquidity and the definition of “accredited investor.” The committee will primarily focus on ways to increase secondary market liquidity for investors in small and emerging companies, making it easier for investors to resell company shares. Small and emerging companies include any privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with a market cap less than $250 million.

SEC Halts Ponzi-Like Scheme by Purported Venture Capital Fund Manager in Buffalo
February 27, 2015(Litigation Release No. 43)
The SEC issued an asset freeze on Gregory W. Gray Jr. and his firms Archipel Capital LLC and BIM Management LP to stop his Ponzi-like scheme. Gregory W. Gray allegedly raised $5.3 million for a fund to purchase 230,000 pre-IPO shares of Twitter. However, Gray only purchase 80,000 pre-IPO shares before Twitter went public in November 2013. When investors of the fund demanded their shares and profits, Gray stole money from three of his other unrelated funds to make up the difference. The majority of the money allegedly came from one investor who believed he was investing $5 million in Uber Technologies. In actuality, Gray did not purchase any shares of Uber Technology and used fabricated documents, including signature pages from another legitimate stock purchase, as proof of his Uber purchases to the investor. The investigation is still ongoing.


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