Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

September 1, 2020

Women-managed funds are outperforming as tech exposure pays off, Goldman finds (CNBC by Pippa Stevens)

In re: Michael Flynn
Once again, we find ourselves hunkering down in a no-man's-land between regulators and the regulated -- as those who advocate an individual's right to take on risk in their personal trading decisions confront those who advocate a role for rational regulation to stem what they view as financial suicide. We should remember that with the explosion of daytrading in the 1990s, we experienced suicides and even murders as a result traders who lost everything. When we confront the 2020 tragedy of 20-year-old Robinhood daytrader Alex Kearns, we would be wise to recall the 1999 murder spree of daytrader Mark Barton.
As CNBC's Stevens reports in part:

. . . 43% of women-managed funds - as defined by those with at least one third of portfolio manager positions held by women - have outperformed their benchmark this year, compared with just 41% of those managed by men. Adjusting for volatility, the median fund with all women portfolio managers has returned more than double that of the typical all-male managed fund.
In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the SEC alleged that John Brian McLane, Jr. and Paul Anthony Nash  had violated the registration requirements of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act and the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder of the Securities Exchange Act. As alleged in part in the SEC Release:

[M]cLane and Nash defrauded over 700 investors by convincing them to invest in a fraudulent pyramid scheme they operated through their multi-level marketing company, Mindset 24 Global, LLC. According to the complaint, McLane and Nash raised more than $1 million from investors who purchased or sold packages of self-improvement materials in order to participate in Mindset 24's compensation plan, thereby earning commissions from profit-sharing pools and by recruiting new investors. As alleged in the complaint, Mindset 24 was not a legitimate business and was instead entirely dependent on existing investors recruiting new investors to fund the scheme. McLane and Nash also allegedly misappropriated over $50,000 in investor funds for themselves. As set forth in the complaint, the scheme inevitably collapsed, with the vast majority of investors losing money.

SEC Obtains Fraud Judgments Against Israeli Owners of Binary Options Brokers (SEC Release), Anton Senderov and Lior Babazara agreed to jointly-and-severally pay $560,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest, and each agreed to pay a $350,000 civil penalty; they consented to injunctions against further violations of the securities registration provisions of Section 5 of the Securities Act and the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; and, finally, they consented to injunctions against selling binary options in the United States. As alleged in part in the SEC Release:

[B]etween January 2014 and August 2017, Anton Senderov and Lior Babazara owned, controlled, and operated LianTech Finance Marketing, Ltd., an Israeli company that marketed "binary options," high-risk financial instruments that expire at a predetermined time, with potential payouts contingent on the future value of an underlying asset. According to the complaint, Senderov and Babazara, through LianTech, controlled and operated two internet-based binary options brokers, LBinary/Live Binary and Ivory Option, which offered and sold binary options to thousands of U.S. investors and provided investors a binary options trading platform. The complaint alleged that the LBinary and Ivory Option websites contained false and misleading statements, and that LianTech employees engaged in deceptive practices, resulting in retail investors depositing millions of dollars into trading accounts at the firms. The complaint also alleged that LianTech, LBinary, and Ivory Option never registered the sales of binary options with the SEC, and that neither those firms, nor Senderov and Babazara, registered with the SEC as a broker.
The SEC issued an Order awarding over $1.25 million to a whistleblower whose significant information prompted the agency to initiate a cause examination and bring an enforcement action that resulted in the return of millions of dollars to harmed investors. An interesting aspect of the SEC's Order is found in part in this assertion [Ed; footnotes in the Order omitted and emphasis added]:

The Claims Review Staff ("CRS") issued a Preliminary Determination recommending that Redacted ("Claimant") receive a whistleblower award of over Redacted which is equal to Redacted of the amounts collected in Redacted Redacted and Redacted ("Covered Action"). Claimant provided written notice of Claimant's decision not to contest the Preliminary Determination. After considering the administrative record, we choose to depart from the Preliminary Determination's recommendation and award Claimant Redacted of the monetary sanctions collected or to be collected in the Covered Action, for a payout of over $1,250,000. 

Bill Singer's Comment: Absolutely obfuscated by the above "redactions" is whether the CRS' Preliminary Determination recommended an award greater than or lesser than that ordered by the SEC. Yes, the SEC chose "to depart" from CRS' recommendation but we don't know whether it was an upward or downward departure. As such, what's the point of drafting the language? 

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit:

Committee on the Judiciary v. Donald McGahn

In re: Hillary Clinton (REVISED)

In re: Michael Flynn