Whistleblower protections, minimizing AML risk, and more in this issue of Fund Forum

2 min

This issue of Venable's Fund Forum provides (i) an overview of the OCIE risk alert on the whistleblower-protection rule, (ii) key lessons for minimizing AML risk, (iii) an analysis of the financial choice act under President-elect Trump, and (iv) an update on the 421-a property tax exemption program.

SEC Focuses on Confidentiality Provisions and Whistleblower Rule Compliance

The OCIE recently issued a risk alert advising that it is examining registrants' compliance with the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The notice follows recent enforcement actions brought by the Commission against public companies and registrants arising from confidentiality provisions in employee agreements and separation agreements that do not specifically carve out reporting potential violations to the SEC.

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FINRA Fines Firm for Deficient AML Monitoring—Are Your Policies Up to Par?

In a recent enforcement action, FINRA fined a broker-dealer $16.5 million for alleged deficiencies in its anti-money laundering (AML) supervision and enforcement systems. The hefty penalty is yet another case where the existence of an AML surveillance system is not sufficient to demonstrate compliance with FINRA's rules or U.S. AML laws, and it shows that firms must carefully monitor transactions and assess their procedures on an on-going basis. In this respect, the action aligns with FINRA's 2016 Priorities Letter, which focuses on suspicious activity monitoring, and the need to tailor programs appropriately for business operations and risk.

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The Financial Choice Act and President-Elect Trump

The United States has had its share of contentious elections, and 2016 ranks with the worst of them. But apart from the fact that it theoretically pitted the "common man" vs. the "elite" (a key theme of the 1828 election), it also presented two very different views of government and, for our purposes, regulation. President-elect Donald J. Trump struck a "populist" tone when it came to government regulation, and has vowed to take a hard look at regulation that he believes impedes business growth.

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Real Estate Landing

In two recent client alerts, Venable real estate counsel Daniel Bernstein updates owners of and investors in residential properties in New York City on the 421-a property tax exemption program. The first focuses on a recent construction wage agreement that extends the 421-a program. The second looks at the potential revocation of the 421-a tax program due to the non-compliance of the program regulations.

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