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The SBA’s FAQs on the PPP

Here’s the government’s FAQ sheet on the Paycheck Protection Program, current as of today. It may not have all the answers, but it gives relatively simple answers to 47 questions by lenders, borrowers, and others. Here’s a sampling: Do payments to independent contractors count toward payroll? No. See Question 15. Do part-time employees count? Yes, for eligibility but no, Read More

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Motive Meets Opportunity

Well, that didn’t take long, either. Yesterday, the Justice Department charged the very first case of fraud against the relief program set up to help small businesses weather the lockdown. Prosecutors charged two businessmen with fraudulently seeking over $500,000 in forgivable loans meant to defray the cost of their payroll, rent, utilities, or mortgage interest. Allegedly, the two Read More

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CFTC Publishes Enforcement Manual for First Time

On May 8, the Enforcement Division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission published its Enforcement Manual for the first time. The Manual’s purpose is twofold: to explain the role of the Enforcement Division within the CFTC and to set general policies and procedures that guide it in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting violations of law. There’s too much Read More

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Whistleblower Programs Booming at SEC and CFTC

The two federal regulators recently submitted their annual reports to Congress for the fiscal year that ended September 30. And, well, business is booming. In the last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission awarded more money to whistleblowers than it had in all prior years combined. Since 2012, it has awarded $326 million, and more than half Read More

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Buckets of Money

If you’ve lost a case against the SEC recently, and it was heard by an administrative law judge (or ALJ), you may want to call your lawyer. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court sent back a case because the SEC hadn’t appointed the ALJ the way the Constitution required. The decision marked the culmination of years-long legal challenges to the Read More

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Iran Sanctions Look to Snap Back

By now you’ve heard the news, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Following a wind-down period of 90 or 180 days, the U.S. government will restore the economic sanctions that it lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. These sanctions generally affect foreign businesses who do business with Iran. After the wind-down periods, they Read More

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SEC Chair Offers Advice on Bitcoin and Its Ilk

This week, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in on crypto-currencies as well as ICOs or initial coin offerings. With the price of bitcoin nearing $20,000, it probably comes at the right time. You may have been wondering yourself: What are the rules for this stuff? Are they being followed? And what are the risks Read More

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Securities Fraud: But Was It Even A Security?

What is a security, anyway? The California Court of Appeal tackled that question recently in a case about a loan between friends. A good starting point is that the law considers a security to be an investment contract, but there’s more to it than that. You may be familiar with common examples like publicly-traded stocks and bonds, but Read More

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Much Ado About Little

The U.S. Supreme Court decided its big insider-trading case of the term on Tuesday, and it turns out you still can’t toss a friend or family member a tip to trade on. Who knew? Here are the facts. The defendant’s brother-in-law was an investment banker who advised major healthcare companies on mergers and acquisitions. Over time, he shared inside information Read More

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SEC Reports Enforcement Results for 2016

As we wind down the calendar year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has already reported its enforcement results for the fiscal year that ended September 30. In case you missed it, here’s the press release. Naturally, there’s some self-patting on the back, but if the past predicts the future, the agency is looking to file cases. Its Read More

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