WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 3 declined to review an appeal in an insider trading criminal action where a hedge fund portfolio manager sought a determination whether the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a federal district court’s jury instruction in the action was inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Newman (Mathew Martoma v. United States of America, No. 18-972, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly applied the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd. in finding that shareholders’ federal securities law claims against Toshiba Corp. “involve a permissible domestic application of Section 10(b)” of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the U.S. solicitor general as amicus curiae argues in a May 20 brief filed with the Supreme Court (Toshiba Corp. v. Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund, et al., No. 18-486, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A technology company and certain of its senior executives issued several misrepresentations in violation of federal securities laws in a registration statement it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its initial public offering (IPO) regarding its business and financial condition, a shareholder argues in a May 28 securities class action complaint filed in New York federal court (Luo Zhi v. Jumia Technologies AG, et al., No. 19-4952, S.D. N.Y.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Supreme Court on May 28 ruled that a state appellate panel erred in determining that convicted securities fraudster’s South Carolina Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(a) motion seeking a reduced sentence was timely filed (The State v. Frederick Scott Pfeiffer, No. 2018-001153, S.C. Sup., 2019 S.C. LEXIS 52).
NEW YORK — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in enjoining a clearing firm and introducing broker under the first-filed rule from bringing an action against the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Utah, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 28 (United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alpine Securities Corp., No. 17-4179, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15691).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 28 ruled that a federal judge did not err in dismissing a securities fraudster’s complaint against three federal agencies because the agencies were subject to sovereign immunity (Kevin P. Brennan v. United States Department of Justice, et al., No. 18-2569, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15683).
NEW YORK — Without providing further detail, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 28 affirmed a federal judge’s granting of a receiver’s summary judgment motion in a securities fraud lawsuit stemming from the operation of a massive Ponzi scheme (John J. Carney v. Francisco Illarramendi, No. 18-1334, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15690).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 24 certified a question to the Texas Supreme Court on rehearing of an appeal of a receiver’s lawsuit stemming from the R. Allan Stanford Ponzi scheme against a U.S. investor, ruling that such action is necessary because Texas courts that have considered Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA) good faith “have not considered whether it includes a diligent investigation requirement or a futility exception” (Ralph S. Janvey v. GMAG LLC, et al., No. 17-11526, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15604).
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a pharmaceutical company insured’s breach of contract and breach of fiduciary lawsuit, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend the insured against an underlying action brought by the Securities Exchange Commission (Biochemics, Inc., et al. v. Axis Reinsurance Company, et al., No. 17-2059, 1st Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15326).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 17 ruled that a federal district court’s explanation of a defendant’s sentencing for violating the terms of his earlier sentencing for conspiracy to falsify the books and records of a publicly traded company was neither “insufficient” nor “irrational,” affirming the lower court’s imposition of a 24-month prison term for his violation (United States v. John N. Milne, No. 18-1155, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14726).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A law firm representing the plaintiffs in a securities class action against Tesla Inc. and its chief executive officer, Elon Musk, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission May 15, asking a District of Columbia federal court to compel the SEC to provide documents related to its investigation of Musk and Tesla, which the law firm requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Levi & Korinsky LLP v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 1:19-cv-01409, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 20 declined to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that a federal district court abused its discretion in granting judicial notice on a series of documents before granting a motion to dismiss filed by a pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives in a securities class action lawsuit (Joseph P. Hagan, et al. v. Karim Khoja, No. 18-1010, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A federal district court did not err in certifying a class of investors in a securities class action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and certain of its executive officers by allowing shareholders to present their price-maintenance theory, the shareholders argue in an April 19 appellee brief filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, et al. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., et al., No. 18-3667, 2nd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court did not err in dismissing a second amended complaint (SAC) in a shareholder class action against a medical device maker and two of its senior executives because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead falsity or scienter in making her federal securities claims, the defendants argue in an April 15 appellee brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Vicky Nguyen v. Endologix Inc., et al., No. 18-56322, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Parties in an insider trading criminal action have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether a federal circuit court erred in ruling that although a federal district court’s jury instruction in an insider trade criminal action was inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Newman, the instruction did not affect the defendants’ substantial rights (Mathew Martoma v. United States of America, No. 18-972, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal district court did not err in denying investors’ motion for extension of time to file their notice of appeal in a lawsuit over investment losses because the investors failed to properly file the notice with the district court, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 15 (Wayne English, et al. v. Thomas L. Taylor, No. 18-20579, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14369).
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not err in dismissing investors’ damages claims against the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) in a lawsuit stemming from a Ponzi scheme by applying the FTCA’s discretionary function exception to the waiver of sovereign immunity, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 15 in a per curiam opinion (Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-0294, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14389).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on May 14 granted preliminary approval of a proposed $240 million settlement in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against 20 Wells Fargo & Co. officers and directors, ruling that the proposed settlement has met the necessary standards for approval (In re Wells Fargo & Co. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 16-5541, N.D. Calif.).
CAMDEN, N.J. — In separate May 6 opposition briefs, an institutional investor and a pension trust argue that a New Jersey federal court should deny requests to consolidate related securities class actions against a reinsurer and former executive officers regarding allegations of misrepresentation in underwriting and risk management techniques and a reinsurance portfolio’s risk (Michael Wigglesworth v. Maiden Holdings Ltd., et al., No. 19-05296, D. N.J.).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on May 13 dismissed without prejudice an elderly couple’s claim that a man violated the Securities and Exchange Act when instructing them to invest their savings into a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme but found that they could pursue claims for financial elder abuse and violation of California law for unlawfully acting as a broker and investment adviser without the required licensure (Tommy Garrison, et al. v. Reginald Buddy Ringgold III, et al., No. 19cv244-GPC, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80643).