Securities and Exchange Commission

  • 19 Nov 2013 at 1:32 PM

Area SEC Staffer Was Bad

New York-based employee Steven Gilchrist was charged with three counts of making false statements regarding the nature of his personal financial holdings, according a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York. Mr. Gilchrist was arrested Tuesday, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office said. The arrest is tied to a recent probe of the personal financial holdings of some SEC employees in New York by U.S. prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog, which The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Mr. Gilchrist, a compliance examiner at the agency, allegedly told the SEC three times that he had no stockholdings prohibited by the agency’s ethical rules, when in reality he had shares of six companies that agency staffers are barred from holding, the complaint said. The SEC has strict rules on the stocks employees can hold. The agency goes further in its employee-trading restrictions than many other federal agencies, which generally prohibit employees from working on any matter in which they have financial interests. [WSJ]

Thinking the impending government shutdown will save you from getting nailed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading or other types of financial chicanery? Think again! Read more »

U.S. regulators proposed new rules Wednesday that would require public companies to disclose the pay gap between chief executives and rank-and-file employees, a controversial requirement that thrusts executive compensation into the spotlight. A divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-to-2 to float a less onerous measure than what the SEC was ordered to adopt in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, giving companies flexibility in how they calculate the ratio to cut back on its expected costs. [WSJ]

  • 15 Nov 2012 at 6:27 PM

Bonus Watch ’12: SEC Whistleblowers

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday it received more than 3,000 tips in the past fiscal year. The SEC said the tips — 3,001 in all — came from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and from 49 countries. It announced the findings in a report required by the Dodd-Frank Act on the activity of the SEC’s whistleblower office, which opened its doors in August last year…Under the program created by the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers can receive a 10% to 30% reward if they provide original information that leads to a successful enforcement case netting a penalty of $1 million or more. The SEC issued its first reward under the program on Aug. 21 to an informant who didn’t want to be identified. The whistleblower received $50,000, or 30% of the $150,000 thus far reclaimed out of the multimillion-dollar fraud the person prevented, the SEC said at the time. [WSJ]

If you had asked us two years or two months or two days ago if we thought that there would be a time in the near future when Securities and Exchange employees would not be regularly reprimanded for watching porn on their work-issued computers for 98 percent of the workday, we would have said absolutely not. No judgment, but in our professional opinion, people do not go from, among other things:

* Receiving “over 16,000 access denials for Internet websites classified by the Commission’s Internet filter as either “Sex” or “Pornography” in a one-month period”

* Accessing “Internet pornography and downloading pornographic images to his SEC computer during work hours so frequently that, on some days, he spent eight hours accessing Internet pornography…downloading so much pornography to his government computer that he exhausted the available space on the computer hard drive and downloaded pornography to CDs or DVDs that he accumulated in boxes in his office.”

* www.ladyboyx.com, www.ladyboyjuice.com, www.trannytit.com, and www.anal-sins.com

…to living a porn-free existence at l’office. Did we think they’d take baby steps toward that goal? Sure. But when you’ve tried to log on to your websites of choice, on average, 533 times a day, assuming weekends were worked, baby steps means getting yourself to a place where you can do a solid two hours of work each week without hitting up anal-sins.com. So you can imagine (and probably share in) our surprise to hear that, according to a probe by Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer re: “misuses of government resources,” the worst offenses one office was charged with claiming they needed iPads to do their jobs when really they just wanted to watch movies on them at home and going to hacker conferences without encrypting the data on their computers. Read more »

Phil Falcone, as some of you may know, has made some mistakes in the last couple years. Pouring his investors’ money into a wireless start-up that may or may not ever get off the ground. Offering those who wanted out illiquid LightSquared equity instead of cash. Not getting his wife a driver for party-time.  If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned the incident in which he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes, which he had not set aside enough money to cover, it’s because Phil doesn’t count it as a mistake, regardless of what you, or the SEC, or anyone else says. Read more »

“I couldn’t even read the whole application,” he said to guffaws from several hundred young Jewish professionals gathered sipping on spirits and kosher wine at event space Chelsea Pearl to hear his advice on how to make it in finance. “I did review part of the application, about 40 pages [out of 500], and the information we provided doesn’t make any sesne to me. How could it possibly make sense to the SEC? It’s a complete waste of time,” he added. “They don’t know what they’re looking for, the just asked for everything in every possible way…I don’t believe the Dodd-Frank law is a positive piece of legislation,” he said dryly, understating his distaste. “I ordered the bill; there are 2,000 pages. I couldn’t read the table of contents. I don’t know anyone who has read it. I think it has retarded the recovery…it’s complete gobbledygook.” [AR]