As reported in more detail on our Regulatory Oversight blog, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations recently released its 2024 Examination Priorities report. The report underscores the SEC’s intent to focus on risk areas impacting market participants, particularly those related to cryptocurrency and emerging technology.
Jay co-leads the firm’s Securities Investigations + Enforcement Practice Group. He focuses his practice on complex business litigation, with a special emphasis on defending against shareholder derivative and securities class action litigation. He also represents clients involved in investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, and various self-regulatory organizations, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA). He also conducts internal investigations on behalf of clients. Such investigations have included allegations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), whistle blower claims, financial fraud, and civil and criminal violations of various federal and state laws.
On October 19, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dismissed its claims against Ripple Labs, Inc. (Ripple) executives Bradley Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen for allegedly aiding and abetting Ripple’s violations of the Securities Act with respect to its “institutional sales” of XRP. The Southern District of New York had deemed “institutional sales” to be unregistered securities in its July summary judgment decision, however, at that time the court reserved judgment as to the aiding and abetting claims against the executives. The matter was set for trial in 2024.
On August 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres requesting leave to file an interlocutory appeal in SEC v. Ripple Labs, Inc. as to the two adverse liability determinations in her July 13, 2023 order. That order granted partial summary judgment in Ripple Labs’ favor regarding the sale of its XRP token. As we previously discussed here, the court held in deciding cross motions for summary judgment that defendants’ “programmatic” offers and sales to XRP buyers over crypto asset trading platforms and Ripple’s “other distributions” in exchange for labor and services did not involve the offer or sale of securities under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co.
In a long-awaited decision in SEC v. Ripple Labs, Inc., U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York held that Ripple Labs, Inc.’s (Ripple) XRP token is not, in and of itself, a security requiring registration. Although the decision is being regarded by many as a victory for both Ripple and the crypto industry, the nuances in the decision may result in an appeal from both sides.
In recent years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has had its eye on the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) market — warning investors against putting money into SPACs, expressing skepticism about their performance, and taking affirmative steps to corral SPACs, including direct prosecution of investment firms. Now its gaze has turned upon a…