Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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After petitioner was convicted of conspiracy, selling unregistered securities, and mail fraud, the SEC barred petitioner from associating with six classes of securities market participants. The court agreed with petitioner's argument that the Commissioner's imposition of Dodd-Frank’s collateral ban constitutes an impermissibly retroactive penalty because it is premised on pre-Dodd-Frank misconduct. See Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), Pub. L. No. 111–203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). Therefore, the Commission abused its discretion in barring petitioner from associating with the investment adviser, municipal securities dealer and transfer agent classes because those bars are impermissibly retroactive, and the court granted that portion of the petition. The court rejected petitioner's "unclean hands" argument and denied the remainder of the petition. View "Bartko v. SEC" on Justia Law

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Petitioners seek review of the Commission's decision imposing sanctions for violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. 80b-21, and the rule against misleading advertising. Here, the Commission instituted an administrative enforcement action against petitioners for alleged violations of anti-fraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act based on how they presented their “Buckets of Money” retirement wealth-management strategy to prospective clients. The court rejected petitioners' contention that the Commission’s decision and order under review should be vacated because the ALJ rendering the initial decision was a constitutional Officer who was not appointed pursuant to the Appointments Clause. The court also concluded that there is substantial evidence to support the Commission’s finding that petitioners’ “Buckets-of-Money” presentation promised to provide an historical-data-only backtest where the analysis would account for “rebucketizing.” Paying deference to the Commission's choice of sanctions, the court upheld the district court's imposition of the lifetime industry bar on Raymond J. Lucia. The court rejected petitioners' remaining contentions and denied the petition for review. View "Raymond J. Lucia Co. v. SEC" on Justia Law

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The SEC created a new class of securities offerings freed from federal-registration requirements so long as the issuers of these securities comply with certain investor safeguards (Regulation A-Plus). Petitioners, the chief securities regulators for Massachusetts and Montana, seek review of Regulation A-Plus. The court concluded that, because Regulation A-Plus does not conflict with Congress’s unambiguous intent, it does not falter at Chevron Step 1. Furthermore, because the Commission’s qualified-purchaser definition is not “arbitrary, capricious, or manifestly contrary to the statute,” it does not fail Chevron Step 2. By providing a reasoned analysis of how its qualified-purchaser definition strikes the “appropriate balance between mitigating cost and time demands on issuers and providing investor protections,” the court concluded that the Commission has complied with its statutory obligation under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 702. Accordingly, the court denied the consolidated petitions for review. View "Lindeen v. SEC" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenges a joint regulation implementing a section of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), 15 U.S.C. 78o-11. Congress added that particular section to the Exchange Act in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Pub. L. No. 111-203, 941, 124 Stat. 1376. The court concluded that the Exchange Act provides a limited grant of jurisdiction, and only rules implementing specific, enumerated sections of the Act are entitled to direct review. Because Congress knew how to add sections to that list, but chose not to do so here, the court lacked jurisdiction over the appeal. Accordingly, the court transferred the petitions “in the interest of justice” to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. View "The Loan Syndications Assoc. v. SEC" on Justia Law