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Whistleblower Claims under the Dodd-Frank Act

This is an article by my colleague Jennifer Korb that appeared in this months Utah Bar Journal. Whistleblower Claims under the Dodd-Frank Act: Highlights from the SEC’s Annual Report to Congress for the 2014 Fiscal Year On November 17, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (referred to herein as the SEC or the Commission) issued its annual report to congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program for the 2014…

SEC Warns Investors to Check the Credentials of Their Stock Broker

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy recently issued this Investor Alert reminding people to thoroughly check the background of thei investment professional.  The Alert cautions investors not to “trust someone with your investment money just because he or she claims to have impressive credentials or experience, or manages to create a ‘buzz of success.’”    Investors can conduct background checks of financial professionals to ensure they are…

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Red Flags Galore: The SEC Sues Roger Bliss of Bountiful Utah for Fraud

There is a relatively new SEC case that definitely needs to be added to my growing list of Utah affinity fraud schemes.  On February 11, 2015, the Salt Lake City office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order against Roger S. Bliss of Bountiful Utah. This case has all of the hallmarks of a fraudulent scheme, but unfortunately a number of Bountiful residents…

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The SEC says Utah investors are too trusting

This article by Caleb Larkin appeared in the Ogden Standard Examiner on June 8, 2015: SALT LAKE CITY – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Salt Lake City reports Utahns tend to invest in Ponzi and other financial fraud schemes at a higher rate than most states. The SEC has 12 office locations nationwide that cover multiple states. Most offices appear in financial centers and cover a huge population. So…

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Boston Man Claimed Day Trading Strategy Was Inspired By The Holy Spirit

This is not a Utah case, but I thought the parallels to other cases I have written about here were striking.  This is a repost of an article that appeared in the Boston Globe today: Man charged in Ponzi scheme claimed a ‘divine’ strategy By Jack Newsham GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  JUNE 02, 2015 Charles L. Erickson has been charged with running a Ponzi scheme and raising funds from people at…

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Shane Baldwin of Layton, Utah Has Finally Been Criminally Indicted

When you practice law in the area of investment fraud you tend to get a lot of calls about some cases and individuals — especially once the payments stop coming in.  I can honestly say that I have received more calls regarding Layton, Utah resident Dwight Shane Baldwin over the past six or seven years than any other individual.  I previously wrote about Baldwin in a post titled “Silverleaf…

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The SEC’s New Whistleblower Program Has Proven to be a Game Changer

SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave a speech at the Northwestern University School of Law on April 30, 2015 on the SEC’s new Whistleblower Program.  She called it a “game changer.”  She said that despite criticism, whistleblowers provide “an invaluable public service” the SEC increasingly sees itself as the “whistleblower’s advocate.” Whistleblower Statistics After just four years the SEC’s program has seen significant successes: The number of tips they…

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Receiverships: Recovery Can Be More than Pennies on the Dollar

By Jared N. Parrish  “Once a receiver takes over you won’t see a dime.” “The lawyers for the receiver will just take all the money and leave nothing for investors.” “Don’t file a claim because there won’t be any money available anyway.” These are some of the most common statements I hear from investors who put money into a financial fraud that is later placed in receivership. The modern…

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How an Employment Agreement Can Get you In Hot Water With the SEC

I don’t usually give employment advice, but the SEC this week announced a settlement with KBR, Inc. that should prompt every company to check its employee agreements. Even fairly innocuous confidentiality language that might seem unobjectionable to some could lead to an SEC enforcement action under the SEC’s interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd Frank”). Congress enacted Dodd Frank on July 21, 2010 and…

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Four tips to avoid getting fleeced by your broker

This is a brief but helpful article from the Associated Press that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune today.  I would add that although the majority of stock brokers are honest and straightforward, there are some out there who are not so it pays to do your homework online before you hire someone to manage your accounts.  And always make sure you understand what fees and commissions you will…