Intellectual Siren Song (Remarks at the 7th Annual Conference on Financial Market Regulation by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce)Georgia Woman Who Allegedly Preyed on Vulnerable South Florida Seniors to Steal More than $1 Million Charged in Federal Court West Palm Beach (DOJ Release)
As I have made clear elsewhere, I oppose the Commission's Consolidated Audit Trail initiative, or CAT. For those who are unfamiliar with this program, which was prompted by the 2010 "Flash Crash," when the CAT is fully implemented, the self-regulatory organizations, which include securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, will collect and store every equity and option trade and quote, from every account at every broker, by every investor. As even people who support the CAT acknowledge, that is a lot of data.Now many of you might be thinking that the CAT, though unquestionably ambitious, is an understandable reaction to such a significant market event. After all, the Commission is charged with, among other things, maintaining orderly markets, and understanding of the causes of market disruptions, such as the "Flash Crash," fits within that ambit. Admirable intentions and earnest efforts to protect the CAT data are not enough, however, to outweigh the CAT's costs.Regardless of the initial (or at least stated) rationale underlying mandated information collections like the CAT, I am always concerned about the follow-on exploitation of information that can occur to the detriment of individual liberty. As the CAT takes concrete shape, I note with alarm, though not surprise, the increasing emphasis that is being placed on the database's ultimate utility as an enforcement tool. Staff at the Commission and at the exchanges will wade through the data pool to troll for securities violations. Seeing that Constitution Day coincided with the start of this conference, I cannot help but ask once again how the CAT, which will track unsuspected and unsuspecting Americans' every move in the hopes of catching them in some wrongdoing, is consistent with the principles undergirding the Constitution.Others do not share my concerns about the implications of mass data collection for liberty and privacy, but rather look at all of this information in increasingly exploitable databases as a source of hope for a brighter future. The sheer volume of data available enables, according to some people, successful central economic planning, something that has never worked in the past. . . .
Five global banks appeared most often in the documents - HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L, JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, Deutsche Bank AG DBKGn.DE, Standard Chartered Plc STAN.L and Bank of New York Mellon Corp BK.N, the ICIJ reported. The SARs provide key intelligence in global efforts to stop money laundering and other crimes. The media reports on Sunday painted a picture of a system that is both under-resourced and overwhelmed, allowing vast amounts of illicit funds to move through the banking system.
The panel affirmed the district court's dismissal of a putative class action suit against Credit Suisse Securities, USA in favor of arbitration.Plaintiff worked as a financial advisor at Credit Suisse Securities, USA ("CSSU"), and brought this putative class action alleging he was owed deferred compensation. CSSU moved to dismiss based on an arbitration clause and general class waiver set forth in an Employee Dispute Resolution Program. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") is a securities industry self-regulatory organization that imposes rules regulating the conduct of its broker-dealer members. CSSU is a FINRA member. Plaintiff argued that FINRA Rule 13204(a)(4) barred CSSU from compelling arbitration of his claims.The panel rejected plaintiff's contention that Rule 13204 invalidated the Employee Dispute Resolution Program's class waiver. Because the class waiver survived, the panel held that plaintiff relinquished his right to bring class claims in any forum. Because plaintiff was left with only individual claims, Rule 13204(a)(4)'s prohibition on enforcing arbitration agreements directed at putative or certified claims had no application here. In accord with the Second Circuit's decision in Cohen v. UBS Fin. Servs., Inc., 799 F.3d 174 (2d Cir. 2015), the panel held that the district court correctly ordered the parties to arbitrate plaintiff's remaining individual claims.
Laver worked as a financial adviser in CSSU's "Private Banking Division." Form contracts governing the employment of CSSU financial advisers entitled them to "deferred compensation" unless they resigned or were terminated for cause. A "Change in Control" provision in the contracts provided that certain corporate acquisitions would allow the advisers to retain their entitlement to certain unvested deferred compensation.In October 2015, CSSU announced that it had entered into a "recruiting agreement" with Wells Fargo and would shut down its financial advisory operations. The agreement stated that Wells Fargo would recruit former CSSU financial advisers but would not be required to offer them employment. Laver alleges that CSSU entered into the agreement to circumvent the "Change in Control" provision and avoid paying its financial advisers millions of dollars in deferred compensation. CSSU ultimately paid deferred compensation only to those advisers hired by Wells Fargo, and not to advisers-including Laver-whom Wells Fargo did not hire.Alleging that he is owed deferred compensation, Laver filed this putative class action suit, which alleges breach of contract and other state law claims. CSSU moved to dismiss the suit in favor of arbitration. CSSU premised its motion on an arbitration clause and a general class waiver set forth in an Employee Dispute Resolution Program ("EDRP") agreed to by Laver and the other financial advisers. . . .
[O]ver approximately four years starting in 2016, Edtronda Simon, of Fayette County, Georgia, ran an elder fraud scheme that generally operated as follows: Simon would cold-call elderly victims in South Florida, pretend to be from the fraud department of each senior's bank, and convince the seniors that their accounts had been compromised, which was false. Once a senior seemed convinced, Simon would offer to send a "bank representative" to the elderly victim's home to exchange any compromised credit or debit card with a new one, says the complaint. Usually with Simon still on the call trying to persuade the senior to verify a PIN number, a co-conspirator would arrive at the victim's home, take the victim's credit or debit card, and promise to return with a new one (which, of course, never happened), according to the complaint affidavit. The co-conspirators allegedly would use the seniors' credit cards, debit cards, and PINs to withdraw cash from ATMs, purchase money orders, and otherwise drain money from the accounts as quickly as possible - before real bank fraud representatives caught on to the illegal activity.The complaint charges that through this scheme, Simon and her co-conspirators duped over 250 seniors from Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River and other South Florida counties into turning over debit cards, credit cards, and related information. They defrauded banks of over $1 million, says the complaint affidavit.In a separate case filed earlier this year in the Southern District of Florida (case no. 20-cr-80037), prosecutors charged six of Simon's co-conspirators for their involvement in this elder fraud scheme: Shaumbrica Stubbs, Luclesse Vernesse, Samuel Charles, Ian Felder, Diedre Dixon, and Shaquille Robinson, all Florida residents. Stubbs and Charles have pleaded guilty.
[S]ince at least 2017, the defendants have used bribery and fraud to benefit merchant accounts on the Amazon Marketplace, resulting in more than $100 million of competitive benefits to those accounts, harm to competitors, and harm to consumers. More specifically, the Indictment alleges that the defendants served as consultants to so-called third-party ("3P") sellers on the Amazon Marketplace. Those 3P sellers consisted of individuals and entities who sold a wide range of goods, including household goods, consumer electronics, and dietary supplements on Amazon's multi-billion-dollar electronic commerce platform. In addition to providing consulting services to these 3P sellers, some of the defendants, including NILSEN, LECCESE, and NUHANOVIC, made their own sales on the Amazon Marketplace through 3P accounts they operated.In the course of the conspiracy described in the Indictment, the defendants paid bribes to at least ten different Amazon employees and contractors, including KUNJU, who accepted bribes as a seller-support associate in Hyderabad, India, before becoming an outside consultant who recruited and paid bribes to his former colleagues. In exchange for those bribes, the corrupted employees and contractors took the following illicit steps: