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Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - February 23rd, 2015


SEC Halts Colorado-Based Pyramid Scheme
February 18, 2015(Litigation Release No. 35)
The SEC has announced fraud charges against and emergency asset freezes on Kristine L. Johnson and Troy A. Barnes for their involvement in an alleged Ponzi/pyramid scheme. The SEC alleges that Johnson and Barnes' company, Work With Troy Barnes Inc., raised over $3.8 million since April of last year by luring investors in with promises of 700% returns. These returns were claimed to...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - February 13th, 2015


SEC Proposes Rules for Hedging Disclosure
February 9, 2015(Litigation Release No. 26)
The SEC has announced the approval of the issuance of proposed rules. The proposed rules require a company to disclose whether its directors, officers, and other employees are permitted to hedge the company's equity securities. The proposed rules are mandated by Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the rules are intended to better inform shareholders by increasing the...

Oil and Gas DPPs From Just Two Sponsors Have Caused $3.7 Billion in Losses

We have written extensively about direct participation programs, or DPPs. See our blog posts on non-traded REITs and our discussion about equipment leasing DPPs. Oil and gas DPPs are another strain of the DPP epidemic: illiquid exposure to an existing underlying asset, loaded with confiscatory fees, conflicts of interest and unnecessary risk.

Oil and gas DPPs use some of investors' money to drill and operate oil and gas wells. Oil and gas DPPs are sponsored and managed either by investment...

UBS Puerto Rico's Bond Fund Debacle: What We Know so Far

Over the past year, we've posted a dozen short commentaries to our blog post here. We thought it would be helpful to summarize what we know so far. This summary and our prior UBS Puerto Rico blog posts are available in Spanish. You can find all the Spanish-language blog posts by clicking here.

We discussed the national exposure of the UBS Puerto Rico losses in October 2013 in Trouble in Paradise: UBS Puerto Rico Bond Fund Investors Hit Hard. The losses only got worse thereafter. In calendar...

Lo que Sabemos hasta Ahora de la Debacle de los Fondos de Bonos UBS Puerto Rico

Durante el último año, hemos posteado alrededor de una docena de artículos cortos en nuestro blog (aquí). Pensamos que sería útil resumir lo que sabemos hasta la fecha. Este resumen está disponible en inglés presionando "In English" en la parte superior de esta página. También tenemos las entradas anteriores relacionadas a UBS Puerto Rico en inglés. Todas estas entradas pueden ser halladas aquí.

Nuestro artículo Peligro en la Isla del Encanto: Inversionistas de UBS Puerto Rico Sufren...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - February 6th, 2015


SEC Alerts Investors, Industry on Cybersecurity
February 3, 2015(Litigation Release No. 20)
The SEC released a couple of publications regarding cybersecurity threats at brokerage and advisory firms. One publication focused on how firms should identify risks, establish policies, procedures, and oversight processes, protect networks and information, identify risks associated with remote access to client information and transfer requests, and detect unauthorized...

UBS Puerto Rican Funds Did Not Belong in Puerto Rican Investors' Portfolios

Over the past year, we've posted a dozen commentaries about the UBS Puerto Rican closed end bond funds to our blog.

In Taxes, Puerto Rico Municipal Bonds and the UBS Funds we show that preferential tax treatment for Puerto Rican investments cannot justify what would otherwise be unsuitable concentrations of investors' portfolios in Puerto Rico municipal bonds. We focused our attention in that post on mainland municipal bond alternatives to Puerto Rican municipal bonds and showed that even...

Los Inversionistas Puertorriqueños No Debieron Invertir en los Fondos Puertorriqueños de UBS

Durante el pasado año, hemos publicado en nuestro blog (aquí) una docena de comentarios sobre los fondos de bonos cerrados UBS Puerto Rico.

En nuestra entrada Impuestos, Bonos Municipales de Puerto Rico y los Fondos UBS mostramos cómo el trato preferencial impositivo que reciben las inversiones puertorriqueñas no puede justificar lo que sería un inadecuado nivel de concentración de bonos municipales de Puerto Rico en las carteras de los inversionistas. En esa entrada de blog, nos...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - January 30th, 2015


SEC Charges Oppenheimer With Securities Law Violations Related to Improper Penny Stock Sales
January 27, 2015 (Litigation Release No. 14)
The SEC has charged Oppenheimer & Co. with breaking federal securities law over illegal sales of penny stocks. They are accused of allowing non-registered sales in their accounts, ignoring red-flags and failing to file Suspicious Activity Reports. Gibralter Global Securities, a Bahamas-based brokerage firm, is one customer alleged...

Enforcement Actions: Week in Review - January 26th, 2015


SEC Announces Charges against Standard & Poor's for Fraudulent Ratings Misconduct
January 21, 2015 (Litigation Release No. 10)
The rating agency Standard & Poor's violated a series of federal securities laws, according to an SEC investigation. Standard & Poor's Rating Services loosened its rating criteria on certain commercial mortgage-backed securities in order to attract business. Additionally, Standard & Poor's misrepresented their rating criteria on commercial...

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