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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC News Digest

Issue 2010-117
June 24, 2010


Commission Meetings

Following is a schedule of Commission meetings, which will be conducted under provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act. Meetings will be scheduled according to the requirements of agenda items under consideration.

Open meetings will be held in the Auditorium, Room L-002 at the Commission's headquarters building, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. Visitors are welcome at all open meetings, insofar as space is available. Persons wishing to photograph or videotape Commission meetings must obtain permission in advance from the Secretary of the Commission. Persons wishing to tape record a Commission meeting should notify the Secretary's office 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Any member of the public who requires auxiliary aids such as a sign language interpreter or material on tape to attend a public meeting should contact SECInterpreter@SEC.gov at least three business days in advance. For any other reasonable accommodation related disability contact DisabilityProgramOfficer or call 202-551-4158.

Open Meeting - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 10:00 a.m.

The subject matter of the June 30, 2010, Open Meeting will be:

The Commission will consider whether to adopt a new rule and related rule amendments under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to address "pay to play" practices by investment advisers. The new rule is designed to prohibit advisers from seeking to influence the award of advisory contracts by public entities by making or soliciting political contributions to or for those officials who are in a position to influence the awards.

Closed Meeting - Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 2:00 p.m.

The subject matter of the Closed Meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 1, 2010 will be: institution and settlement of injunctive actions; institution and settlement of administrative proceedings; consideration of amicus participation; an opinion; and other matters relating to enforcement proceedings.

At times, changes in Commission priorities require alterations in the scheduling of meeting items. For further information and to ascertain what, if any, matters have been added, deleted or postponed, please contact: The Office of the Secretary at (202) 551-5400.


In the Matter of Fei-Fei Catherine Fang, CPA

On June 24, 2010, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, Making Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (Order) against Fei-Fei Catherine Fang, CPA. The Order finds that Fang repeatedly failed to perform in accordance with applicable professional standards in her audit of Advanced Materials Group (AMG), a public company she audited from November 2005 through February 2009. Among other things, the Order finds that Fang did not possess adequate training or proficiency as an auditor, failed to plan the audits adequately, and failed identify competently the audit risks. The Order further finds that Fang did not obtain competent evidential matter and failed to exercise proper professional skepticism regarding AMG's sales and receivables. Fang's actions constituted improper professional conduct within the meaning of the Commission's Rules of Practice.

Based on the above, the Order denies Fang the privilege of appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant. Fang consented to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying any of the findings contained in the Order. (Rel. 34-62372; AAE Rel. 3146; File No. 3-13948)

SEC Dismisses Case Against Defendant Dipin Malla

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has dismissed its case against defendant Dipin Malla, formerly a registered representative in the Miami branch office of Aura Financial Services, Inc.

On June 11, 2009, the Commission filed its complaint against Aura Financial Services, Inc. (Aura); Ronald E. Hardy, Jr. (Hardy); Peter C. Dunne (Dunne); Qais R. Bhavnagari (Bhavnagari); Dipin Malla (Malla); Sandeep Singh (Singh); and Raymond Rapaglia (Rapaglia) for violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) [15 U.S.C. 77q(a)] and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) [15 U.S.C. 78j(b)] and Rule 10b-5 [17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5] thereunder.

In its complaint, the Commission alleged that between approximately October 2005 and April 2009, defendants fraudulently induced customers, most of whom had limited investment experience and moderate to conservative investment objectives or risk tolerances, to open and fund brokerage accounts with Aura. Defendants then executed numerous trades that negatively impacted customer accounts through brokerage commissions, mark-ups, trading losses, and excessive transaction costs. In at least some cases, trades were unauthorized and/or inconsistent with customers' investment objectives or risk tolerances. During 2008, Aura generated gross commissions of more than $1,000,000 while its customers suffered combined losses of over $3,500,000. [SECv. Aura Financial Services, Inc. et al., Civil Case No. 1:09-CV-21592-FAM, U.S.D.C., S.D. Florida (Miami)] (LR-21568)


Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Changes

A proposed rule change filed by NYSE Amex amending Rule 0 to provide that certain references in Exchange Rules should be understood to also include FINRA, as applicable (SR-NYSEAmex-2010-57), has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 28. (Rel. 34-62354)

A proposed rule change filed by New York Stock Exchange adopting new Rule 0 to provide that certain references in Exchange Rules should be understood to also include FINRA, as applicable (SR-NYSE-2010-46), has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 28. (Rel. 34-62355)

Approval of Proposed Rule Change

The Commission approved a proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1 (SR-FINRA-2009-054), submitted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to establish in the market for OTC Equity Securities certain regulatory protections derived from certain rules adopted by the Commission in the market for listed securities. Publication is expected in the Federal Register during the week of June 28. (Rel. 34-62359)





Modified: 06/24/2010