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SEC charges against ‘reputable’ organizations in 2019 dwarf crypto actions

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As it promised in 2018, the SEC continued to bring actions against crypto organizations for breaches of securities laws in 2019, with its actions against Telegram in October and its settlement with Block.one in September being among the most high profile of the year.
The SEC’s action against both companies followed the now well-trodden path of breaches of sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act, which relate to promoting and selling an unregistered security. Block.one has agreed to pay a US$24 million fine, but Telegram is contesting the charges and the next hearing is slated for February.
However, it was not crypto companies that dominated the SEC’s enforcement calendar during the last 12 months, instead it was much revered Fortune 500 organizations that were on the receiving end of SEC investigations - as the following list reveals
December 18th: MetLife The SEC charges the insurance giant with violating the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of federal securities law. MetLife agrees to pay $10 million to settle.
December 16th: Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs executive Tim Leissner is charged with being engaged in a corruption scheme, by which he obtained millions of dollars by paying unlawful bribes to various government officials to secure lucrative contracts for Goldman Sachs - all in breach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Liessner agrees to settle for around $43 million.
December 9th: Jefferies LLC The SEC announces that broker-dealers Jefferies LLC will pay nearly $4 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts.
December 6th: Ericsson Sweden-based Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson is charged with engaging in a large-scale bribery scheme involving the use of sham consultants to secretly funnel money to government officials in multiple countries. The bribes netted Ericsson hundreds of millions in profits. Ericsson agrees to pay more than $1 billion to the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice.
September 27th: Fiat Chrysler The SEC charges Fiat Chrysler with misleading investors about the number of new vehicles sold each month in the United States and thus falsely portraying the company's financial position. FCA US and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to pay $40 million to settle the charges.
September 27th: HerbaLife Herbalife Nutrition agrees to pay $20 million to settle charges that it made false and misleading statements about its China business model in numerous U.S. regulatory filings over a six-year period.
__September 27th: Mylan __ The SEC charges mega drug company Mylan with overcharging Medicaid by hundreds of millions of dollars for EpiPen, its largest revenue and profit generating product. Mylan agrees to settle for $30 million.
September 23rd: PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is charged with improper professional conduct in connection with 19 engagements on behalf of 15 SEC-registered issuers and violating auditor independence rules in connection with engagements for one issuer where the firm performed prohibited non-audit services. PwC agrees to pay over $7.9 million to settle the matter.
September 23rd: Nissan The SEC files fraud charges against Nissan, its former CEO Carlos Ghosn, and its former director Greg Kelly related to false financial disclosures that omitted more than $140 million that was to be paid to Ghosn in retirement - thus falsely portraying the company's financial position.. Nissan settles and agrees to pay a $15 million civil penalty.
August 16th: Cantor Fitzgerald and BMO Capital The SEC announces that Cantor Fitzgerald will pay more than $647,000 and broker BMO Capital Markets Corporation will pay over $3.9 million to settle charges of improper handling of "pre-released" American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
July 24th: Facebook The SEC announces charges against Facebook for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of Facebook user data. Facebook agrees to pay $100 million to settle the case.
July 15th: Nomura The SEC institutes two related enforcement actions against Nomura Securities International for its failure to adequately supervise traders in mortgage-backed securities. Nomura agrees to repay approximately $25 million to harmed customers.
June 27th: State Street State Street agrees to pay the SEC $88 million to settle for overcharging mutual funds and other registered investment company clients for expenses related to the firm's custody of client assets.
June 20th: Walmart The SEC charges Walmart with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by failing to operate a sufficient anti-corruption compliance program for more than a decade. Walmart agrees to pay more than $144 million to settle the SEC charges and approximately $138 million to resolve parallel criminal charges by the U.S. Department of Justice - for a combined total of more than $282 million.
June 17th: KPMG The SEC charges KPMG with altering past audit work after receiving stolen information about inspections of the firm that would be conducted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The SEC also finds that numerous KPMG audit professionals cheated on internal training exams by improperly sharing answers and manipulating test results. KPMG agrees to settle the charges and pay a $50 million penalty.
March 22nd: Merrill Lynch The SEC announces that Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will pay over $8 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
March 14th: Volkswagen The SEC charges Volkswagen and its former CEO with defrauding bond investors as part of the "Clean Diesel" emissions fraud. By concealing the emissions scheme, Volkswagen reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in benefit by issuing securities at more attractive rates for the company.
February 13th: Deloitte The SEC charges Deloitte Japan with violating auditor independence rules - Deloitte agrees to pay $2 million to settle the case.
December 26th 2018: JPMorgan The SEC announces that JPMorgan Chase will pay more than $135 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
December 17th 2018: BNY Mellon
The SEC announces that BNY Mellon will pay more than $54 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).


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News, Khareem Sudlow