Tag Archives: Douglas K. Yatter

CFTC Enters the Market for Anti-Corruption Enforcement

by Alice S. Fisher, Douglas K. Yatter, William R. Baker III, Douglas N. Greenburg, Robyn J. Greenberg, and Benjamin A. Dozier

New enforcement advisory encourages reporting of foreign corrupt practices that the agency intends to pursue under the Commodity Exchange Act.

On March 6, 2019, the Division of Enforcement (Division) of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) announced that it will work alongside the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate foreign bribery and corruption relating to commodities markets.[1] CFTC Enforcement Director James McDonald announced the agency’s new interest in this area as the Division issued an enforcement advisory on self-reporting and cooperation for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) involving foreign corrupt practices.[2]

For companies and individuals who participate in the markets for commodities and derivatives — or whose activities may impact those markets — the CFTC announcement adds a new dimension to an already crowded and complex landscape for anti-corruption enforcement. A range of industries, including energy, agriculture, metals, financial services, cryptocurrencies, and beyond, must now consider the CFTC and the CEA when assessing global compliance and enforcement risks relating to bribery and corruption. This article summarizes the new developments and outlines key considerations for industry participants and their legal and compliance teams. Continue reading

SEC Charges “ICO Superstore” as Unregistered Broker-Dealer

by John J. Sikora, Jr., Stephen Wink, Douglas K. Yatter, and Naim Culhaci

The settled order is the first SEC action charging a seller of digital tokens as an unregistered broker-dealer.

On September 11, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a settled order instituting cease-and-desist proceedings and imposing remedial sanctions against TokenLot LLC (TokenLot), a self-described “ICO Superstore,” and its owners in connection with their sales of digital tokens to the general public through a website.[1] The SEC found that TokenLot and its owners acted as unregistered broker-dealers in violation of Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and engaged in unregistered securities offerings in violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act). Continue reading

Deputy Attorney General Announces Comprehensive Review of DOJ Corporate Enforcement Policies

by Leslie R. Caldwell, Douglas K. Yatter, and E. Wistar Wilson

On October 6, 2017, Deputy Attorney General of the United States Rod J. Rosenstein announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is actively reviewing a wide range of existing corporate enforcement policies. In a speech delivered at New York University School of Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement, Rosenstein unveiled a plan to review and reconsider existing DOJ policies, and to consolidate policies in official sources like the US Attorneys’ Manual, which provides formal guidance to all DOJ prosecutors.[1] This represents a departure from DOJ’s approach in recent years, and may result in significant changes to DOJ policy in a number of areas. This article summarizes Rosenstein’s remarks, notes related DOJ developments, and discusses possible implications for corporate enforcement. Continue reading

CFTC Releases New Enforcement Cooperation Guidelines

by Richard D. Owens and Douglas K. Yatter

On January 19, 2017, the Division of Enforcement (Division) of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) issued two Enforcement Advisories outlining its approach for evaluating cooperation by corporations and individuals in the agency’s investigations and enforcement actions. The Division investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission regulations involving registered firms and other market participants across the financial, energy, and agricultural sectors as well as other commodities markets. The new Enforcement Advisories are the first update to the CFTC’s corporate cooperation guidelines since 2007 and the Division’s first statement of its policy for cooperating individuals. This article highlights how the CFTC’s new cooperation guidelines address certain important issues in the continually evolving landscape for engaging with civil and criminal enforcement authorities. Continue reading

Evolution of the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program

by Douglas K. Yatter, Yvette D. Valdez, and J. Ashley Weeks

Financial services firms and market participants face an ever-evolving landscape of regulatory programs designed to encourage and enable whistleblowers to report potential misconduct. On August 30, 2016, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) published proposed amendments to its whistleblower program.[1] Drawing from the agency’s experience in administering its program over the past five years, as well as strides the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made in administering its analogous program, the CFTC’s proposal aims to enhance the whistleblower review process and adopt new enforcement authority for whistleblower retaliation. Continue reading