Here is the weekly summary for Securities Docket’s Web Watch (”This Week’s Best Blog Posts and Columns”):
The Bernie Madoff Law: A Closer Look (HarvardBusiness.org)
HarvardBusiness.org | October 9, 2009
The House Banking Committee has just finished drafting a bill intended to stop anyone in the future from putting together another Bernie Madoff scam. It’s a worthy aim that I wholly endorse, but I worry that passing the current draft will introduce more arbitrariness and cost into the regulatory system without solving the problems revealed by the Madoff debacle.
Bourke’s Big Day (The FCPA Blog)
The FCPA Blog | October 9, 2009
Frederic Bourke, the co-founder of handbag-maker Dooney & Bourke, faces up to five years in prison on each count. The judge has already said she’ll impose less than the 10-year sentence prosecutors have asked for. Even so, any jail time will complete Bourke’s fall from his “charmed life,” as the American Lawyer’s Andrew Longstreth calls it, to convicted felon.
When Law Obscures the Facts of the Auction-Rate Debacle (Floyd Norris, NYTimes)
The New York Times | October 9, 2009
Some of those corporate purchasers of ARS may recall the old saying, “Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.” Those buyers of this paper are finding they cannot successfully sue because of a 1995 law, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, that was strongly backed by corporate America as a way to curb frivolous lawsuits.
Financial fraud 101 — accounting for criminals (CNN)
CNN | October 9, 2009
Antar would pair “cute hot female” employees with male auditors as part of his distraction strategy. “In effect, I was a fraudster, matchmaker and pimp,” said Antar, who avoided jail time by working with the government, and now advises government agencies and businesses on avoiding accounting fraud.
APPEALING CUBAN: AGGRESSIVE INSIDER TRADING ENFORCMENT (SEC ACTIONS)
SEC Actions | October 8, 2009
Overall the decision to appeal Cuban clearly demonstrates the Commission’s willingness to push the edge of insider trading. Indeed, the thin factual record suggests that the SEC is pushing the edge of the required legal obligation toward a parity of information standard. That theory, of course, has long been rejected as a basis for insider trading liability.
The Threat of Lawsuits is Down-But Stay Paranoid (Boardmember.com)
Boardmember.com | October 8, 2009
The overall risk climate for directors is a lot less dangerous than people once feared. But as a version of the old saying suggests, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean somebody isn’t watching you.
NLJ Releases 2009 Plaintiff’s Hot List (Securities Litigation Watch)
Securities Litigation Watch | October 7, 2009
Earlier this week The National Law Journal released their eighth annual Plaintiffs’ Hot List, a self-described “subjective take on the major players in the plaintiffs’ bar,” with a focus on firms that are performing “exemplary, cutting-edge work on the plaintiffs’ side and with “an impressive track record within the previous three to five years.” Here is the list together with a brief blurb about each firm from the article.
Former U.S Attorneys Share Drinks, Stories in Seattle (Main Justice)
Main Justice | October 7, 2009
More than 60 former top federal prosecutors attended the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys annual conference here last weekend. Main Justice tagged along, and we confess: We were a little star struck at finally getting to meet many of the luminaries we’ve been covering since launching last spring.
Why the Asset Freeze? (Investor’s Watchblog)
Investor’s Watchblog | October 7, 2009
No matter what you hear from the promoter of an investment, if a federal judge orders an asset freeze, there is good grounds for it. Federal judges do not work for the SEC. They are impartial. Unless the SEC presents evidence that there is a risk that investor assets will be dissipated or moved outside the court’s jurisdiction, the judge will not order the freeze.
Reforming the SEC: Looking Around theÂ Corner (theRacetotheBottom)
theRacetotheBottom | October 6, 2009
Rather than pick up the pieces once a fraud has self-imploded, the Division of Enforcement will be most effective if it can learn to intervene while the fraud is still in progress. It would mean a proactive rather than reactive approach. To do so means developing techniques for spotting fraud as they occur.
Vivendi – Latest Update to the Securities Class Action Trial List (Securities Litigation Watch)
Securities Litigation Watch | October 6, 2009
Yesterday, the small, but growing number of federal securities class actions that have gone to trial since the PSLRA was enacted got a new member, as jury selection started in the Vivendi shareholder litigation pending in the Southern District of New York.
2009 Plaintiffs’ Hot List: The Firms to Watch (NLJ)
National Law Journal | October 6, 2009
Who would have thought we’d be handing out kudos to Milberg LLP three years after firm predecessor Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman was indicted for kicking back legal fees to class action plaintiffs? Who would have thought the firm would survive in any way, shape or form — much less that it would continue scoring significant settlements?
Crazy like a fox (Crain’s NY Business)
Crain’s NY Business | October 5, 2009
Now Sam Antar, 52, is using the expertise he gained as a criminal to uncover accounting problems at other companies. Exhibit A for him these days is Overstock.com.