FINRA is Postponing All In-Person Arbitration Proceedings Scheduled through July 3, 2020

FINRA announced yesterday that due to the continuing covid-19 disease pandemic all in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings scheduled through July 3, 2020 are administratively postponed. Parties who have cases scheduled for in-person hearings through that date will be contacted by FINRA staff about the options of rescheduling the hearing or proceeding with a remote hearing conducted via Zoom. The postponement … Read More

SEC, Justice Department Begin Investigations of Senator Burr, Others

On March 25, 2020, I wrote about a lawsuit filed against North Carolina Senator Richard Burr over his dumping of stocks in the early days of the covid-19 pandemic. In the complaint, a shareholder of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts alleged that Senator Burr sold his stock portfolio based on non-public “insider” information. In late February 2020, Burr, who is chairman of … Read More

Senator Burr Sued for Insider Trading in Violation of the STOCK Act

Two days ago, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was sued by a shareholder in Wyndham Hotels and Resorts in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that Senator Burr decided to sell his stock portfolio based on non-public “insider” information. According to news reports, in late February 2020, Burr, who is … Read More

Investor Advocates Call on FINRA to Immediately Stop the Expungement of Customer Complaints

The Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association (known as PIABA) is a nationwide association of attorneys who advocate for investors through litigation and arbitration and regulatory reform. In a report prepared by The PIABA Foundation, titled 2019 Study on FINRA Expungements, A Seriously Flawed Process that Should be Stopped Immediately to Protect the Integrity of the Public Record, PIABA called upon … Read More

Investment Adviser Permanently Barred over Conflicts of Interest, Failure to Disclose, and Violation of Best Execution Rules

I previously wrote about the SEC’s increased emphasis on the enforcement of an investment advisor’s obligation to provide its customers with the “best execution” of recommended securities trades. See SEC Announces Results of Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative (March 19, 2019). A recent court decision, from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, illustrates the serious consequences that can result from … Read More

Raleigh Investment Adviser Stephen Condon Peters Sentenced to 40 Years In Prison for Operating a Ponzi Sheme

Stephen Condon Peters, a Raleigh investment advisor, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty following a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. In sentencing Peters, he presiding judge, James C. Dever, III, noted Peters’ lengthy and systematic scheme involving theft of clients’ money, obstructing an investigation by … Read More

State Attorneys General Sue the SEC to Nullify Regulation Best Interest

On September 9, 2019, seven states and the District of Columbia sued the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to invalidate Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct (“Regulation BI”). The Attorneys General of California, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, New Mexico, and Oregon alleged in their complaint that Regulation BI: undermines critical consumer protections … Read More

The North Carolina Supreme Court’s Piazza v. Kirkbride Decision Fails to Resolve Important Issues under State Securities Act

On May 10, 2019, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its opinion in Piazza v. Kirkbride. See Piazza v. Kirkbride, 827 S.E.2d 479 (2019). The Court declined to resolve important issues under the North Carolina Securities Act, instead ruling that defendant Gregory Brannon had failed to properly preserve his challenge to the trial court’s jury instructions. In the trial court … Read More

FINRA Reminds Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers to Comply with the SEC’s “Best Interest” Requirements

FINRA Reminds Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers to Comply with the SEC’s “Best Interest” Requirements On June 5, 2019, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued Release No. 34-86031, titled Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct (“Regulation BI”), which provides for a best interest standard applicable to broker-dealers. The same day, the SEC issued Release No. IA-5248, titled … Read More