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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC News Digest

Issue 2010-136
July 22, 2010

COMMISSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

SEC Releases Report of the Life Settlements Task Force

The Securities and Exchange Commission today released a staff report recommending that life settlements be clearly defined as securities so that the investors in these transactions are protected under the federal securities laws.

A life settlement is a transaction in which an individual with a life insurance policy sells that policy to another person, who then assumes responsibility for paying the premiums. Typically, the seller no longer wants the policy or can no longer afford to pay the premiums. In exchange, the insured party typically receives a lump sum payment that exceeds the policy's cash surrender value, but is less than the expected payout in the event of death.

The staff report by the SEC's Life Settlements Task Force, which SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro established in August 2009, notes that the market for life settlements has grown over the past decade, raising questions about its regulation and oversight.

In particular, the report notes that there is inconsistent regulation of participants in the life settlements market, including those who arrange for the buying and selling of policies and those who provide estimates of an insured's life expectancy. In addition, the report notes that investors in individual life settlement transactions, or pools of life settlements, would benefit from the application of baseline standards of conduct to market participants.

"The life settlements market calls out for enhanced and coordinated regulatory oversight to protect the emerging class of investors interested in this market, as well as the many seniors who consider selling their life insurance policies," said Chairman Schapiro. "Standards can be improved to ensure that those participating in this market are given a fair deal and are provided the information they need to evaluate such a consequential decision."

In the report, the staff outlines the Task Force's findings about the life settlements market and recommends ways to improve market practices and regulatory oversight. It recommends that the Commission should:

  • Consider recommending to Congress that it amend the definition of security under the federal securities laws to include life settlements as securities.
  • Instruct the staff to continue to monitor that legal standards of conduct are being met by brokers and providers.
  • Instruct the staff to monitor for the development of a life settlement securitization market.
  • Encourage Congress and state legislators to consider more significant and consistent regulation of life expectancy underwriters.

Also today, the SEC issued an investor bulletin regarding investments in life settlements, consistent with one of the recommendations of the Task Force.

Amending the federal securities laws to define life settlements as securities could have several benefits:

  • The amendment would clarify the status of life settlements under the federal securities laws and provide for a more consistent treatment of life settlements under both federal and state securities laws.
  • The amendment would bring intermediaries in the life settlement market within the regulatory framework of the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This would subject them to regulatory requirements designed to protect investors from abusive practices and to promote business conduct that facilitates fair, orderly and efficient markets.
  • The amendment would give the SEC and FINRA clear authority to police the life settlements market, which could lead to early detection of abuses and help deter fraud.

In preparing the report, the Task Force reviewed articles and other resources related to life settlements and met with more than 20 outside groups knowledgeable about the life settlements market, its regulation, its participants and its impact on policy owners and investors.

"I appreciate the thorough review conducted by the Task Force," added Chairman Schapiro. "This report exemplifies our desire to get out in front of issues and appropriately regulate markets as they emerge and evolve."

The SEC staff report is available at the following link: http://www.sec.gov/news/studies/2010/lifesettlements-report.pdf. (Press Rel. 2010-129)


SEC Charges Dell and Senior Executives With Disclosure and Accounting Fraud

Company to Pay $100 Million Penalty, Michael Dell to Pay $4 Million Penalty

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Dell Inc. with failing to disclose material information to investors and using fraudulent accounting to make it falsely appear that the company was consistently meeting Wall Street earnings targets and reducing its operating expenses.

The SEC alleges that Dell did not disclose to investors large exclusivity payments the company received from Intel Corporation to not use central processing units (CPUs) manufactured by Intel's main rival. It was these payments rather than the company's management and operations that allowed Dell to meet its earnings targets. After Intel cut these payments, Dell again misled investors by not disclosing the true reason behind the company's decreased profitability.

The SEC charged Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell, former CEO Kevin Rollins, and former CFO James Schneider for their roles in the disclosure violations. The SEC charged Schneider, former regional Vice President of Finance Nicholas Dunning, and former Assistant Controller Leslie Jackson for their roles in the improper accounting.

Dell Inc. agreed to pay a $100 million penalty to settle the SEC's charges. Michael Dell and Rollins each agreed to pay a $4 million penalty, and Schneider agreed to pay $3 million, to settle the SEC's charges against them. Dunning and Jackson also agreed to settle the SEC's charges.

"Accuracy and completeness are the touchstones of public company disclosure under the federal securities laws," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "Michael Dell and other senior Dell executives fell short of that standard repeatedly over many years, and today they are held accountable."

Christopher Conte, Associate Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, added, "Dell manipulated its accounting over an extended period to project financial results that the company wished it had achieved, but could not. Dell was only able to meet Wall Street targets consistently during this period by breaking the rules. The financial results that public companies communicate to the investing public must reflect reality."

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C., alleges that Dell Inc., Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider misrepresented the basis for the company's ability to consistently meet or exceed consensus analyst EPS estimates from fiscal year 2002 through fiscal year 2006. Without the Intel payments, Dell would have missed the EPS consensus in every quarter during this period. The SEC's complaint further alleges that Dell's most senior former accounting personnel including Schneider, Dunning, and Jackson engaged in improper accounting by maintaining a series of "cookie jar" reserves that it used to cover shortfalls in operating results from FY 2002 to FY 2005. Dell's fraudulent accounting made it appear that it was consistently meeting Wall Street earnings targets and reducing its operating expenses through the company's management and operations.

According to the SEC's complaint, Intel made exclusivity payments to Dell in order for Dell to not use CPUs manufactured by its rival - Advance Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). These exclusivity payments grew from 10 percent of Dell's operating income in FY 2003 to 38 percent in FY 2006, and peaked at 76 percent in the first quarter of FY 2007. The SEC alleges that Dell Inc., Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider failed to disclose the basis for the company's sharp drop in its operating results in its second quarter of FY 2007 as Intel cut its payments after Dell announced its intention to begin using AMD CPUs. In dollar terms, the reduction in Intel exclusivity payments was equivalent to 75 percent of the decline in Dell's operating income. Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider had been warned in the past that Intel would cut its funding if Dell added AMD as a vendor. Nevertheless, in Dell's second quarter FY 2007 earnings call, they told investors that the sharp drop in the company's operating results was attributable to Dell pricing too aggressively in the face of slowing demand and to component costs declining less than expected.

The SEC's complaint further alleges that the reserve manipulations allowed Dell to materially misstate its earnings and its operating expenses as a percentage of revenue - an important financial metric that the company itself highlighted - for more than three years. The manipulations also enabled Dell to misstate materially the trend and amount of operating income of its EMEA segment, an important business unit that Dell also highlighted, from the third quarter of FY 2003 through the first quarter of FY 2005.

Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Dell Inc. consented to the entry of an order that permanently restrains and enjoins it from violation of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1, and 13a-13. Dell Inc. also agreed to enhance its Disclosure Review Committee and disclosure processes, including the retention of an independent consultant to recommend improvements to those processes and enhance training regarding the disclosure requirements of the federal securities laws.

Michael Dell and Rollins settled the SEC's disclosure charges, without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, by each agreeing to pay the $4 million penalties and consenting to the entry of an order that permanently restrains and enjoins each of them from violating Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act and from violating or aiding and abetting violations of other provisions of the federal securities laws.

Schneider consented to settle the disclosure and accounting fraud charges against him without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, and agreed to pay the $3 million penalty, disgorgement of $83,096, and prejudgment interest of $38,640. Dunning and Jackson consented to settle the SEC's improper accounting charges without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations. Dunning agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000. In their settlement offers, Schneider, Dunning and Jackson consented to the issuance of administrative orders pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, suspending each of them from appearing or practicing before the SEC as an accountant with the right to apply for reinstatement after five years for Schneider and three years for Dunning and Jackson.

The SEC's investigation is continuing as to other individuals.

James Blenko, Shelby Hunt, Jonathan Jacobs, Ian Rupell, Robert Peak, Brian Palechek, and Jeffrey Anderson conducted the SEC's investigation in this matter. Litigation efforts in the ongoing case will be led by Jack Worland and Richard Skaff.

The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the Federal Trade Commission in this investigation.

For more information about this enforcement action, contact:

Christopher Conte

Associate Director, SEC Division of Enforcement

(202) 551-4834

Rami Sibay

Assistant Director, SEC Division of Enforcement

(202) 551-4815

(Press Rel. 2010-131; Litigation Release 21599; Complaint)


RULES AND RELATED MATTERS

Mutual Fund Distribution Fee Reform

On July 21, 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued for public comment proposed rule changes to reform the regulation of distribution fees paid by mutual funds. The measure would replace existing rule 12b-1 (the rule that allows distribution fees to be deducted from fund assets) with a new framework that is designed to better protect investors. The proposed rules would limit fund sales charges, improve transparency of fees for investors, revise fund director oversight duties, and encourage retail price competition.

There will be a 90-day public comment period. The full text of the release proposing the new rule and rule and form amendments is available on the SEC website. (Rels. 33-9128; 34-62544; IC-29367; File No. S7-15-10)


ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS

In the Matter of James R. Halstead

On July 21, 2010, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (Order) against James R. Halstead. The Order finds that on July 7, 2010, a judgment was entered against James R. Halstead, permanently enjoining him, by consent, from future violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act, in the civil action entitled SEC v. Jeanne M. Rowzee, et al., Civil Action Number, SACV 08-1025 DOC (ANx) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division.

The Order further finds that the Commission's complaint alleged that in connection with the fraudulent offer and sale of $52.7 million of securities to approximately 150 investors, Halstead falsely represented that the investors' funds would be used to purchase PIPE investments which were described as "a private investment being converted into a public entity." The complaint also alleged that Halstead represented that Jeanne M. Rowzee was an experienced securities attorney who had access to lucrative private investment opportunities through brokers that she controlled and promised returns of 19% to 54% within 12 to 16 weeks. The complaint also alleged that Halstead aided and abetted Rowzee's fraud on her investment adviser clients and misappropriated investor funds. The complaint further alleged that Halstead sold unregistered securities.

Based on the above, the Order bars Halstead from association with any investment adviser. Halstead consented to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying any of the findings in the Order except as to the Commission's jurisdiction over him, the subject matter of these proceedings, and the entry of the judgment in the civil injunctive action, which he admitted. (Rel. IA-3054; File No. 3-13972)


Commission Revokes Registration of Securities of URT Industries, Inc. for Failure to Make Required Periodic Filings

On July 22, 2010, the Commission revoked the registration of each class of registered securities of URT Industries, Inc. (URTSA) for failure to make required periodic filings with the Commission.

Without admitting or denying the findings in the Order, except as to jurisdiction, which it admitted, URTSA consented to the entry of an Order Making Findings and Revoking Registration of Securities Pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as to URT Industries, Inc. finding that it had failed to comply with Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder and revoking the registration of each class of URTSA's securities pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Exchange Act. This Order settled the charges brought against URTSA in In the Matter of Aris Industries, Inc., et al., Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-13950.

Brokers and dealers should be alert to the fact that Exchange Act Section 12(j) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

No member of a national securities exchange, broker, or dealer shall make use of the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce to effect any transaction in, or to induce the purchase or sale of, any security the registration of which has been and is suspended or revoked . . . .

For further information see Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings and Notice of Hearing Pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, In the Matter of Aris Industries, Inc., et al., Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-13950, Exchange Act Release No. 62388 (June 28, 2010). (Rel. 34-62545; File No. 3-13950)


In the Matter of Aphton Corp., et al.

On July 22, 2010, an Administrative Law Judge issued an Order Making Findings and Revoking Registrations of Securities By Default (Default Order) as to Aphton Corp., Apollo International of Delaware, Inc., Applewoods, Inc., Aquagenix, Inc., Asconi Corp., Avalon Borden Companies, Inc., Aviation Holdings Group, Inc., and Azur Holdings, Inc., in Aphton Corp., Administrative Proceeding 3-13942. The Default Order finds that each Respondent failed to comply with Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Exchange Act Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 because it failed to make periodic filings with the Commission for a number of years. Based on these findings, the Default Order revoked the registrations of each class of registered securities of each Respondent. (Rel. 34-62546; File No. 3-13942)


In the Matter of Life Resources, Inc., et al.

An Administrative Law Judge has issued an Order Making Findings and Revoking Registrations by Default as to Six Respondents (Default Order) in Life Resources, Inc., Administrative Proceeding No. 3-13917. The Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP) alleged that seven Respondents failed repeatedly to file required annual and quarterly reports while their securities were registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Default Order finds these allegations to be true as to six Respondents. It revokes the registrations of each class of registered securities of Life Resources, Inc., LifeStar Corp., Lifeworks Holdings, Inc., Listo, Inc., Log Point Technologies, Inc., and LRNN Corp., pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The proceeding remains pending as to Lysander Minerals Corp. (f/k/a Lysander Gold Corp.), the seventh Respondent named in the OIP. (Rel. 34-62547; File No. 3-13917)


In the Matter of Andrew D. Petrofsky, CPA

On July 22, 2010, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Making Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (Order) against Andrew Petrofsky (Petrofsky). The Order finds that Petrofsky, a certified public accountant in Alabama since 2003, was employed from November 2003 until August 2008 as an investment adviser representative by Professional Asset Strategies LLC, an investment adviser registered with the Commission and based in Birmingham, Alabama. The Order also finds that on April 19, 2010, Petrofsky was convicted in U.S. v. Andrew D. Petrofsky, No. 2:09-cr-00435-LSC-HGD, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, of wire fraud and forged security and sentenced to 44 months of imprisonment, with three years of supervised release to follow, and ordered to pay restitution of $876,651. Petrofsky pled guilty to counts alleging that he stole money from client accounts using unauthorized wire transfers and forged checks, and attempted to conceal his theft by redirecting client account statements to his home, altering the statements to disguise withdrawals, and sending altered statements to clients.

Based on the above, the Order suspends Petrofsky from appearing or practicing before the Commission and bars Petrofsky from association with any investment adviser. Petrofsky consented to the entry of the Order without admitting or denying the findings in the Order except he admitted the conviction. (Rel. 34-62548; IA-3055; AAE Rel-3155; File No. 3-13973)


In the Matter of William B. Blount

On July 22, 2010, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Sections 15(b) and 15B(c) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (Order) against William B. Blount. The Order finds that Blount, while chairman and chief executive officer of Blount Parrish & Co., an Alabama broker-dealer and municipal securities dealer registered with the Commission, conferred more than $156,000 in cash and other benefits on a long-time friend who was the president of the Jefferson County, Alabama Commission. The Order further finds Blount concealed the payments by funneling them through a middleman, and that the payments were in connection with the award of County bond and swap business to Blount Parrish. The Order finds Blount was enjoined by consent by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15B(c)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rules G-17 and G-20.

Based on the above, the Order bars Blount from association with any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer. Blount consented to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying any of the findings in the Order, except he admitted the entry of the injunction. (Rel. 34-62549; File No. 3-13974)


In the Matter of Eric R. Majors

On July 22, 2010, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Notice of Hearing (Order) against Eric R. Majors (Majors). The Division of Enforcement (Division) alleges that Majors was recently permanently enjoined from committing antifraud violations of the federal securities law and criminally convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Commission. The Division also alleges that at the time of the misconduct giving rise to the injunction and conviction, Majors was associated with an investment adviser, Force Financial Systems Group, Inc.

A hearing will be scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge to determine whether the allegations of the Division contained in the Order are true, to provide Majors an opportunity to respond to these allegations, and to determine what, if any, remedial actions are appropriate in the public interest against Majors. As directed by the Commission, the Administrative Law Judge shall issue an initial decision in this matter not later than 210 days from the date of service of the Order. (Rel. IA-3056; File No. 3-13875)


In the Matter of Comverse Technology, Inc.

An Administrative Law Judge has issued an Initial Decision in Comverse Technology, Inc., Administrative Proceeding No. 3-13828. The Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP) alleged that Comverse Technology, Inc. (Comverse), failed repeatedly to file required annual and quarterly reports while its securities were registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission). The Initial Decision found the allegations against Comverse in the OIP to be true, and, as a sanction, it revoked the registration of Comverse's securities with the Commission. Despite its efforts to become current in its periodic reporting obligations, Comverse has yet to file a single delinquent report and it has missed several previously-stated dates for becoming current. As such, the Initial Decision determined that it was necessary and appropriate for the protection of investors that the registration of each class of registered securities of Comverse be revoked pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. (Initial Decision No. 400; File No. 3-13828)


Focus Financial's Principals and Others Criminally Charged in $8 Million Ponzi Scheme Targeting South Florida's Haitian-American Community

On June 16, 2010, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida announced that Maxo Francois, a/k/a Max Francois, Jean Fritz Montinard, Aiby Pierre-Louis and Maguy Nerus, a/k/a Maguy Jean-Louis, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1349 and 1956(h). The criminal charges are for their roles in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme which targeted the South Florida Haitian-American Community. According to the Indictment, Focus Development Center, Inc. and Focus Financial Group, Inc. a/k/a Focus Financial Associates (collectively, Focus Financial) issued and sold 12-month promissory notes to investors providing for a guaranteed 15% annual return. The defendants induced investors to purchase these notes by making presentations in community churches and on the radio, falsely claiming that Focus Financial used the funds to create Haitian-American businesses and jobs, that the businesses generated sufficient profits to pay 15% annual returns, and that investors' principal was safe and secure. In reality, Focus Financial and its affiliated businesses never generated sufficient profits to pay annual returns and, instead, the defendants used new investor funds to pay principal and interest payments to earlier investors. The Indictment further charges that as a result of the scheme, the defendants raised $8 million from more than 600 Haitian-American investors living in South Florida who ultimately suffered losses of approximately $6 million.

On June 9, 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil injunctive action against Focus Financial and its principals, Francois, Montinard and Pierre-Louis, charging them with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC subsequently obtained judgments against each of the defendants, providing for full permanent injunctive relief, holding each of the defendants jointly and severally liable for disgorgement in the amount of $5.9 million, plus prejudgment interest thereon, and ordering them to pay civil penalties in the amount of $120,000 each.

On Sept. 29, 2005, the SEC's Miami Regional Office and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation held an investor education and outreach program in North Miami, Florida, in English and with Creole translators, to provide information to Focus Financial victims and provide information to the Haitian-American community about avoiding financial scams. [U.S. v. Maxo Francois, a/k/a "Max Francois", et al., Case No. 1:10-cr-20443-JAL-1 (S.D. Fla.)] (LR-21596)


SEC Charges Two New York-Based Accountants With Conducting Ponzi Scheme Against Clients

The Commission announced that on July 22, 2010, it filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and a motion for a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against defendants Laurence M. Brown and Ronald J. Mangini, and an asset freeze against relief defendants Infinity Farms, Ltd., Sloan A. Brown, Susan W. Brown, Maylil, Inc., and June A. Mangini. The Commission also is seeking an Order directing the defendants and relief defendants to provide verified accountings, expedited discovery, and prohibiting the destruction, alteration or concealment of documents.

The SEC's complaint alleges that, from as early as April 2008 until June 2010, Brown and Mangini sold what purported to be the common stock and promissory notes of a company called Infinity Reserves-Tennessee Inc., which they represented to be a "gas gathering and trunk pipeline system." In fact, the securities Brown and Mangini sold were fictitious. Infinity Reserves is the name of a company owned by one of their clients, and the company's principal asset is a now defunct natural gas pipeline in Tennessee. Without the knowledge or authorization of the client, who is the sole shareholder of Infinity Reserves, Brown and Mangini have been falsely holding themselves out to investors as senior officers of Infinity Reserves with authority to sell the phony securities at issue. The complaint further alleges that Brown and Mangini have sold the securities to a number of investors, including clients of their accounting practice, and have illegally obtained over $2 million from those investors. Brown and Mangini have returned only small amounts of the funds to certain investors as interest payments, while diverting the vast majority of investor funds - at least $1.6 million - to their and their family members' personal use.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Brown and Mangini violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. In addition to the emergency relief sought, the Commission also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions and civil monetary penalties against the defendants, as well as disgorgement by the defendants and relief defendants plus prejudgment interest.

The Commission acknowledges the assistance of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. [SEC v. Laurence M. Brown, et al., Civil Action No. 10-CV-5564 (S.D.N.Y.)] (LR-21597)


INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT RELEASES

Lazard Global Total Return and Income Fund, Inc., et al.

An order has been issued on an application filed by Lazard Global Total Return and Income Fund, Inc., et al., under Section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act for an exemption from Section 19(b) of the Act and Rule 19b-1 under the Act. The order permits certain registered closed-end management investment companies to make periodic distributions of long-term capital gains with respect to their outstanding common stock as frequently as monthly in any taxable year, and as frequently as distributions are specified by or in accordance with the terms of such investment companies' preferred stock. (Rel. IC-29344 - July 21)


Old Mutual Financial Separate Account VA

An order has been issued on an application filed by Old Mutual Financial Separate Account VA pursuant to Section 8(f) of the Investment Company Act declaring that it has ceased to be an investment company. (Rel. IC-29345 - July 21)


Goldman, Sachs & Co., et al.

The Commission has issued a temporary order to Goldman, Sachs & Co. (Goldman Sachs), et al., under Section 9(c) of the Investment Company Act with respect to an injunction issued against Goldman Sachs by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 20, 2010. The temporary order exempts Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies LLC, Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company, First Allmerica Financial Life Insurance Company and Epoch Securities, Inc., as well as companies of which Goldman Sachs is or becomes an affiliated person, from the provisions of Section 9(a) of the Act until the Commission takes final action on an application for a permanent order. The Commission also has issued a notice giving interested persons until Aug. 16, 2010, to request a hearing on the application filed by applicants for a permanent order under Section 9(c) of the Act. (Rel. IC-29366 - July 21)


SELF-REGULATORY ORGANIZATIONS

Approval of Proposed Rule Change

The Commission approved a proposed rule change (SR-FINRA-2010-029) submitted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to adopt FINRA Rule 5141 (Sale of Securities in a Fixed Price Offering) in the consolidated FINRA rulebook and to delete NASD Rules 0120(h), 2730, 2740 and 2750, and NASD IM-2730, IM-2740 and IM-2750. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of July 19. (Rel. 34-62539)


Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change

A proposed rule change filed by The NASDAQ Stock Market (SR-NASDAQ-2010-075) relating to fees for execution of contracts on the NASDAQ Options Market has become effective under Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of July 19. (Rel. 34-62543)


SECURITIES ACT REGISTRATIONS


RECENT 8K FILINGS

 

http://www.sec.gov/news/digest/2010/dig072210.htm


Modified: 07/22/2010