SEC Announces Appointment of Cristina Martin Firvida as Investor Advocate

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the appointment of Cristina Martin Firvida as Director of the Office of the Investor Advocate, effective Jan. 17, 2023. Ms. Martin Firvida was most recently the Vice President of Financial Security…

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SEC Charges McDonald’s Former CEO for Misrepresentations About His Termination

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Stephen J. Easterbrook, former CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, with making false and misleading statements to investors about the circumstances leading to his termination in November 2019. McDonald’s…

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Non-Compete Agreements Going Away?

Over the years the courts have been limiting, if not outright striking, non-compete agreements which prohibit employees from working in their chosen profession for a period of time or in a geographic area.

Those agreements can be extremely harmful to the employee, and limit competition in the markets. The reality is that employers have an interest in protecting their intellectual property, but that protection can be provided by a carefully drafted confidentiality agreement and non-solicitation agreement, protecting trade secrets and other proprietary information. Banning an employee from working in his or her chosen profession is not necessary.

The FTC has taken up the issue, proposing a ban on non-compete agreements.

The Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule that would ban employers from imposing noncompetes on their workers, a widespread and often exploitative practice that suppresses wages, hampers innovation, and blocks entrepreneurs from starting new businesses. By stopping this practice, the agency estimates that the new proposed rule could increase wages by nearly $300 billion per year and expand career opportunities for about 30 million Americans.

The FTC is seeking public comment on the proposed rule, which is based on a preliminary finding that noncompetes constitute an unfair method of competition and therefore violate Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

The FTC press release is online. Forbes’ commentary on the proposed rule is also worth reading.

Mark Astarita represents financial advisors across the country in all aspects of their professional careers, including drafting, and litigating non-compete agreements. Contact him at 212-509-6544 or by email at mja@sallahlaw.com, or visit The Securities Lawyer.

AT&T Settles SEC Charge of Selectively Disclosing Material Information to Wall St. Analysts

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that AT&T agreed to pay a $6.25 million penalty and three company executives agreed to pay $25,000 apiece stemming from charges brought in March 2021 related to the company’s selective disclosure…

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SBF Borrowed a Half Billion Dollars from his Fund

Interesting article from Forbes – SBF borrowed half a billion dollars from his hedge fund to finance a purchase of Robinhood stock.

When Sam Bankman-Fried bought a nearly 7.6% stake in Robinhood, the popular stock-trading app, earlier this year, he financed the deal with more than half a billion dollars borrowed from his own hedge fund — the entity that prosecutors say was illegally funneling customer funds from its affiliated platform, FTX.

In an affidavit that emerged Tuesday, Bankman-Fried said he and FTX co-founder Gary Wang borrowed more than $546 million from the hedge fund, Alameda Research, which they used to purchase the Robinhood shares via a holding company primarily controlled by Bankman-Fried.

Wang has since pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and conspiracy, in cooperation with US prosecutors investigating FTX’s collapse. Bankman-Fried has been indicted on eight criminal counts.

 https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/28/business/robinhood-sam-bankman-fried-alameda/index.html

SEC Awards More Than $20 Million to Whistleblower

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more than $20 million to a whistleblower who provided information and assistance that significantly contributed to a successful enforcement action. The whistleblower provided new…

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SEC Charges Danske Bank with Fraud for Misleading Investors about Its Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Failures in Estonia

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against Danske Bank, a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Denmark, for misleading investors about its anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program in its…

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SEC Charges Honeywell with Bribery Schemes in Algeria and Brazil

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Honeywell International Inc. for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of bribery schemes that took place in Brazil and Algeria. The company has agreed to…

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Sarah ten Siethoff Named Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Sarah ten Siethoff has been named Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management. In addition to serving as Deputy Director, Ms. ten Siethoff will continue serving as the Associate…

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SEC Charges Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang with Defrauding Investors in Crypto Asset Trading Platform FTX

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and Zixiao (Gary) Wang, the former Chief Technology Officer of FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX), for their roles in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity…

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