SEC Charges Banker and Plumber with Insider Trading

After uncovering an illicit trading pattern, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged an investment banker and his close friend, a plumber, who allegedly helped remodel his bathroom and put cash in his gym bag in return for highly confidential nonpublic information about upcoming mergers and acquisitions, with insider trading. Click here to read more.

Student Loan Scammers Busted

The FTC and the State of Florida filed lawsuits against two student loan debt relief schemes — Consumer Assistance Project and Student Aid Center - that falsely promised in calls, ads, texts and emails to get loans forgiven or reduced but only caused more problems for borrowers. However, student loan forgiveness programs are available in very limited circumstances and can be done by anyone for free. Click here to read more.

Lord & Taylor Prohibited From Misrepresenting Paid Ads As Independent Endorsements

The Federal Trade Commission issued an order prohibiting national retailer Lord & Taylor from failing to properly disclose paid native advertising and online endorsements for its products, including to 50 online fashion influencers to post on Instragram. The FTC alleges that Lord & Taylor deceived consumers by placing a seemingly objective “news” article in the online publication Nylon and creating a Nylon Instagram post, without disclosing that it paid for their placement and adverstising of the company’s 2015 new Design Lab clothing collection. Click here to read more.

Whistleblower Rewarded with $3.5m for Helping Investigation

The Securities and Exchange Commission awarded a whistleblower more than $3.5 million for a tip of additional evidence that bolstered an ongoing investigation. The SEC’s whistleblower program has now awarded more than $62 million to 28 whistleblowers that are entitled to receive 10-30% of SEC recoveries over $1 million since the program’s inception in 2011. Click here to read more.

New Rule Would Allow Consumers to Fight Back in Class Actions Against Banks

Most agreements between corporations and consumers contain arbitration agreements that in the event a dispute arises bar any judicial action and in particular class actions. Class actions are often the only feasible way to hold companies accountable for wide-spread wrongdoing with small amounts of damages and potential recovery for consumers. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a proposed rule that would bar certain arbitration clauses to restore customers’ rights to bring class-action lawsuits against financial firms. It would apply to bank accounts, credit cards and other types of consumer loans. Click here to read more.

Feds Target Stock Promotion and Kickback Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against 10 individuals involved in schemes with cash bribes and other kickbacks to registered representatives and unregistered brokers paid by Chairman of the Board of ForceField Energy Inc., who solicited investors to buy stock in the Company. Click here to read more.

Fake Newspaper Subscription Scam Uncovered

The Federal Trade Commission has charged the operators of dozens of companies with deceiving consumers by sending “Notice of Renewal/New Order” mailers that they claim will automatically renew for subscriptions to newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Seattle Times and The Denver Post, and for magazines. The FTC seeks to stop the operation and obtain money for return to consumers. Click here to read more.

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