In a groundbreaking criminal case, the former owner of a staffing agency that provided physical therapists to home-healthcare companies is convicted of obstructing an FTC investigation – but acquitted of conspiring with competitors to fix wages.
The Texas Lawbook caught up with the Katten white-collar defense attorney about her path to specializing in healthcare fraud matters and key developments at the Department of Justice, including seeing more prosecutions of doctors, executives, lawyers and accountants one year into the Biden administration.
The enforcement implications of the SEC’s new proposed climate rules could be far-reaching and expand the scope of liability for potential SEC investigations and shareholder litigation.
Panelists discussed key developments and enforcement trends in rapidly evolving areas of securities regulation including cryptocurrency trading and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and environmental, social and governance disclosures related to climate change.
SEC’s Proposed Rule for Climate-Related Disclosures Would Flood Public Companies with New Disclosure Obligations
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released its proposed disclosure rule last week that, if approved, would require registrants to disclose a tidal wave of information in annual reports and registration statements. The SEC’s proposal would result in a tectonic shift for how public companies assess, track, measure and disclose climate-related risks, would likely necessitate significant changes to management and board processes and composition, and expose public companies to increased litigation and enforcement risk.
Federal regulators will focus more resources on special purpose acquisition companies seeking to go public because the increased frequency of so-called de-SPACing could lead to a jump in improper accounting, financial misstatements and even fraud. That’s according to Rebecca Fike, who spent the past 10 years at the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office prosecuting violators of accounting and financial fraud, who said cryptocurrency, corporate governance and de-SPACing are “ripe for potential securities issues” to be investigated by the federal agency.
The biggest impact, according to legal experts, will be to corporations in the energy industry and those with a significant amount of greenhouse emissions. Experts from V&E, Winstead, Porter Hedges, Winston & Strawn, Bradley and Sidley share their insight and analysis on the new proposed rules.
The SEC is expected to create a standardized reporting protocol to provide investors with a clear picture of different industries’ emissions and their progress in adapting their business to a warming planet, according to observers closely tracking the process.
For the first time in Texas history, the SEC charged a Houston area public school district and two of its senior officials with fraudulently misleading investors in the school system’s $20 million bond issuance in 2018.
In Dallas, U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle sentences the two owners of Bitqyck to prison and orders them to pay $1.6 million each in federal income taxes.