Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

June 13, 2018

GUEST BLOG: A Suicide On Wall Street ( Blog)
Today's Blog presents a "Guest Blog" reprinted from an email, which was sent to us by an individual who prefers to maintain his anonymity and has asked to be known only as "A Former NASD Employee." It is a powerful and heart-wrenching story about a former regulator who became an industry compliance officer. Tomorrow, our publisher Bill Singer will offer his comments. For today, we let the email speak for itself.

United States of America v. AT&T Inc., DirectTV Group Holdings, LLC, and Time Warner Inc. (Opinion, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 17-CV-02511 / June 12, 2018)
READ FULL TEXT DOJ Complaint, DDC Opinion, and DOJ Pleadings Archive
Senior Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied DOJ's request to enjoin the proposed merger. Imposes no conditions. Denies any stay. Concluded that the government has failed to meet its burden of proof, and characterized the Antitrust Division's arguments against the deal as "fatally anemic" and  "gossamer thin." Says:

[T]o use a stay to accomplish indirectly what could not be done directly -- especially when it would cause certain irreparable harm to the defendants -- simply would be unjust. I hope and trust that the Government will have the good judgment, wisdom, and courage to avoid such a manifest injustice. To do otherwise, I fear, would undermine the faith in our system of justice of not only the defendants, but their millions of shareholders and the business community at large.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. will pay over $10.5 million to its customers and about $5.2 million in penalties pursuant to a settlement of SEC charges that the firm's employees misled customers into overpaying for Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS).  As set forth in the SEC Order, Merrill Lynch traders and salespersons deceived customers about the price Merrill Lynch paid to acquire the securities, which resulted in undisclosed profits in the form of mark-ups. Merrill Lynch allegedly failed to have compliance and surveillance procedures in place that were reasonably designed to prevent and detect the misconduct. READ the FULL TEXT SEC ORDER

SEC Charges Canadian Accountant with Insider Trading (SEC Litigation Release No. 24164)
In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the SEC's charged Kurt J. Bordian with violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint, Bordian consented to the entry of a final judgment that permanently enjoins him from future violations, prohibits him from acting as an officer or director of a public company, and orders him to pay disgorgement of $220,500, prejudgment interest of $14,358, and a civil penalty of $220,500. Bordian also consented to an SEC order suspending him from appearing or practicing as an accountant before the federal regulator. While working as an accountant and personal assistant for a director of InterOil Corporation, Bordian alleged received e-mail messages indicating that the company was entering into a merger; which prompted him to purchase out-of-the-money InterOil call options that ultimately yielded a $220,500 profit.READ the FULL TEXT SEC Complaint