Please see below our notes on the past week. If you have questions on any of these items, please feel free to contact us.
Regulation S-ID Identity Theft Red Flag Rules went into Effect
On Wednesday the new Red Flag rules went into effect for many SEC and CFTC registered managers. In general, certain managers are now required to have identity theft programs in place which will include: staff training for appearance of red flags, procedures for dealing with red flags, certification of procedures from administrators and/or custodians dealing with investor/customer accounts. Managers who have not yet discussed program implementation with their outside counsel or compliance firm should reach out with respect to this issue. For more information, please see our post on Regulation S-ID Identity Theft Rules.
IARD Renewal – Fees Due by December 13, 2013
SEC and state registered investment advisers will have until December 13th of this year to pay their renewal fees for 2014. To begin, managers will need to retrieve their preliminary statement to find out the amount they owe. Managers will then need to use the IARD’s new E-Bill system (which replaces the old E-Pay system) to pay the total amount due by December 13, 2013, the renewal payment deadline. Firms should submit their electronic renewal payments no later than December 10 in order for payment to post to the renewal accounts by the deadline. For more information, please see the IARD Renewal Checklist.
MF Global Ordered to Fully Reimburse Customers; Subject to $100 Million Fine
It now appears as if all of the futures customers at MF Global will be fully reimbursed. A federal court in New York recently ordered MF Global to pay over $1 billion in restitution to customers. The court also imposed a $100 million civil penalty on the company. For more information, please see the CFTC press release.
Manager Fined $250,000 for Numerous Compliance Violations Including Misstatements in PPM
It is vitally important that fund managers accurately describe their operating procedures in their fund offering documents. This includes such matters as valuation on fund assets. Additionally, managers need to be vigilant in making sure that statements made in the offering documents continue to be accurate. The SEC recently announced the issueance of an order that found, among other items, that the management company failed to adopt and implement written compliance policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violations applicable laws and regulations concerning three important areas of private fund management: (i) valuation of fund assets, (ii) the accuracy of disclosures to fund investors about the valuation practice, and (iii) cross trades between clients. In addition to the monetary penalty, the manager was censured and is now required to provide a copy of the SEC order to certain of its clients and investors. The full complaint can be found here.
• There were a number of enforcement actions at the SEC level for run-of-the-mill financial crimes such as preying on elderly investors and receiving fraudulent kick-backs (note: interestingly, the SEC also charged the firm with aiding and abetting another firm with violation of the SEC’s custody rule). Additionally, the SEC charged another tipper in the Galleon insider-trading scandal.
• Forex Pool Fraud – November 19, 2013. Specifically, the Order finds that, from at least June 2010 through April 2013, Prescott fraudulently solicited individuals to invest in Cambridge’s off-exchange forex pool and misappropriated $455,098 of pool participants’ monies, using some of those funds for air travel, hotel accommodations, and gambling. According to the Order, Prescott defrauded pool participants and prospective pool participants by misrepresenting the risks involved in forex trading and executing demand promissory notes in their favor that promised the repayment of the note amount and monthly interest payments, knowing or recklessly disregarding that he could not make those payments by his forex trading. Press release can be found here.
Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a premier boutique investment management law firm, providing top-tier, responsive, and cost-effective legal solutions for financial services matters. Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.