The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an emergency action charging two individuals with running a pump and dump scheme targeting retail investors. The SEC also obtained an emergency court order freezing the defendants' assets.

According to the SEC's complaint, Florida resident Garrett M. O'Rourke and Maryland resident Michael J. Black worked together between 2016 and 2018 to fraudulently sell the stock of several microcap companies to investors, including elderly retail investors, using high pressure stock promotional campaigns.   more...
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged AR Capital LLC, its founder Nicholas S. Schorsch, and its former CFO Brian Block with wrongfully obtaining millions of dollars in connection with two separate mergers between real estate investment trusts (REITs) that were sponsored and externally managed by AR Capital. The defendants agreed to settle the matter by, among other things, cumulatively agreeing to over $60 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has instituted two related enforcement actions against Nomura Securities International Inc., which has agreed to repay approximately $25 million to customers for its failure to adequately supervise traders in mortgage-backed securities.

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State Street Bank and Trust Company has agreed to pay over $88 million to settle charges for overcharging mutual funds and other registered investment company clients for expenses related to the firm's custody of client assets. The overcharges included a secret markup that State Street tacked on to the cost of sending secured financial messages through the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network.

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Canon and Toshiba failed to observe the required waiting period in Canon’s $6.1 billion acquisition of Toshiba’s Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation

Canon Inc. and Toshiba Corporation have agreed to settle federal charges that the companies violated the premerger notification and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR Act), when Canon acquired Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation from Toshiba in 2016.

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PGPIC Awards IRGC Construction Firm Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Contracts

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against Iran’s largest and most profitable petrochemical holding group, Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC), for providing financial support to Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters (Khatam al-Anbiya), the engineering conglomerate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). In addition to PGPIC, OFAC is designating PGPIC’s vast network of 39 subsidiary petrochemical companies and foreign-based sales agents. PGPIC and its group of subsidiary petrochemical companies hold 40 percent of Iran’s total petrochemical production capacity and are responsible for 50 percent of Iran’s total petrochemical exports.

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