United Gets Off Easy, Pays $2.4M Penalty For Using Planes To Chauffeur Airport Exec To Vacation Home

(Jason Daniel Brown)

Last year, United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek abruptly resigned amid a federal investigation into allegations that the airline had provided illegal special favors to an official in charge of Newark Liberty International Airport — including relaunching a route to South Carolina that just happened to be near a home owned by that official. United has now agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into these allegations — just a tiny portion of the financial benefit the airline received as a result of this back-room dealing. [More]

Adam Fagen

Financial Regulators Race To Finish New Rules, But Congress Can Still Try To Roll Them Back

The wheels of government turn slowly, especially when it comes to rulemaking — the process by which a federal agency proposes, drafts, and finalizes new rules. It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years for this process, but with the incoming Trump administration giving every indication of having a light-touch on regulation, financial regulators have reportedly kicked things into high gear to finish up pending rules in the next two months, even though Congress may be able to roll them back. [More]

Gary Burke

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $264M To Settle Corruption Allegations For Hiring Friends, Family Of Government Officials

Over a period of seven years, JPMorgan Chase hired or gave internships to around 200 individuals, not because they were the best people for their positions (they often weren’t), but at the request of foreign government officials and clients. That practice, alleged U.S. regulators, was a violation of federal law. Now Chase has agreed to pay a total of more than $264 million to settle these allegations of nepotism-gone-too-far. [More]

SEC Chair To Step Down When Trump Takes Office

SEC Chair To Step Down When Trump Takes Office

While the world waits to see what happens to the leadership and policies of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the head of another federal financial regulator has made it clear that she will be stepping down after President Obama leaves office, even though she could have stayed on in the office for several more years. [More]

Alec Tabak

DOJ, States To Sue Moody’s Credit Rating Agency For Role In Mortgage Meltdown

What drove the mortgage bubble in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis wasn’t just ill-prepared home-buyers signing on to subprime, adjusted-rate mortgages they couldn’t afford, or the lenders who effectively gave up on underwriting these loans so as to bundle and resell as many of them as possible. There were also credit rating agencies that gave these mortgage-backed bonds the seal of approval, even when they were worthless. [More]

Ex-Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Resigns From Boards Of Chevron, Target

Ex-Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Resigns From Boards Of Chevron, Target

John Stumpf, who “retired” last week from his position as CEO of Wells Fargo due to the company’s fake account scandal, is also taking the opportunity to “retire” from board seats. Oil company Chevron and retailer Target announced today in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Stumpf would be stepping down from their respective boards, both of which he joined in 2010. [More]

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Fines California Health Insurer $340,000 For Breaking Whistleblower Protection Laws

When a business is doing something shady and illegal, often the best-placed people to know about it are the employees who are supposed to carry it out. That’s why there are laws in place to protect whistle-blowers who report their employers to the appropriate authorities… and breaking those laws can sometimes land a company in as much trouble as doing the thing an employee would report them for to begin with.

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frankieleon

Best Buy CEO Sells Half Of His Vested Shares, Remains Totally Confident In Company

Remain calm, investors, shoppers, and employees of Best Buy. Okay, yes, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly sold half of the shares in the company that he owns that are vested and that he’s legally allowed to sell, but that’s just about his personal investment choices, not meant as a statement about the future of the company. Hey, why is the stock price falling? [More]

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $367 Million For Secretly Steering Clients To Investments That Benefited Bank

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $367 Million For Secretly Steering Clients To Investments That Benefited Bank

When you pay a bank’s investment adviser to help you put your money in a smart place, you would hope that they would steer you to a product that best serves your interest. You’d also hope that if an investment product benefited the bank, this information would be clearly disclosed. But that’s not always the case, which is why JPMorgan Chase has to pay penalties totaling $367 million. [More]

Target Won’t Face SEC Charges Over Breach

Target Won’t Face SEC Charges Over Breach

Nearly two years after a massive data breach at Target left millions of consumers’ personal information at risk, the company announced it won’t face enforcement action from at least one government agency. [More]

CEOs Of Chipotle, CVS, Discovery, Walmart Make The Most Compared To Employees’ Wages

CEOs Of Chipotle, CVS, Discovery, Walmart Make The Most Compared To Employees’ Wages

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission finalized a long-delayed rule that will require many businesses to publicly disclose the ratio of their top executive’s pay to the earnings of the typical employee. If the data in a newly released report is accurate, then the CEOs of Chipotle, CVS, Walmart, and Discovery Communications are each making more than 1,000 times the average salary of the people they employ. [More]

(chickee510)

U.S. Companies Must Reveal How Much CEOs Earn Compared To Workers

Five years ago, the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to come up with rules requiring American companies to calculate and report the ratio between a CEO’s pay and that of the company’s typical employee. After repeated delays and claims from big business that the math was too complicated, the SEC has finally voted to approve these rules. [More]

(Ben Sutherland)

SEC Investigating Beverage Giant Diageo Over Allegations It Artificially Boosted Sales Figures

When a company says it’s moving a whole lot of products, that could mean that its sales are booming. The thing is, just because a business might be shipping a lot of products, that doesn’t necessarily mean it actually sold as much as it’s sending to distributors. To that end, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating beverage giant Diageo — the company behind brands like Smirnoff, Guinness, Johnnie Walker and more — for allegedly artificially boosting its sales by shipping excess inventory to distributors.

[More]

Like Monopoly money, but it buys real stuff.

Judge Hits Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme With $40.7 Million Penalty

If someone convinces you to invest with him by promising returns of 7% weekly, and that he’s never lost money and there’s no risk, you should be incredibly concerned about giving him your money, regardless of whether it’s a dollar or a Bitcoin. But the operator of a Bitcoin-based Ponzi scheme in Texas was able to rake in millions based on completely empty promises — and now has to pay it all back. [More]

GM Confirms It’s Being Probed On Multiple Fronts Over Ignition Recall

GM Confirms It’s Being Probed On Multiple Fronts Over Ignition Recall

While there have been numerous reports of agencies poking their noses into General Motors’ long-delayed ignition-related recall tied to at least 13 deaths, today the car maker game some indication of just how many investigations it faces. [More]

The Consumerist 101 Guide To Understanding Your Financial Regulators

The Consumerist 101 Guide To Understanding Your Financial Regulators

Washington, D.C., might as well be called Acronym City. It feels like there are a zillion different, discrete agencies, organizations, bureaus, boards, and commissions within the federal government, each with its own graceless three-, four-, or five-initial moniker, forming the tangled web of a bureaucracy that regulates… well, almost everything. So what are the key regulatory agencies, anyway? Who oversees what, and who do they report to, and how does it all work? [More]

Bank Of America’s Compliance With Federal Mortgage Program Being Investigated

Bank Of America’s Compliance With Federal Mortgage Program Being Investigated

While it’s still settling multibillion-dollar tabs tied to the mortgage meltdown, Bank of America continues to face new legal and regulatory pressure. Yesterday, the bank revealed that it is being investigated by federal authorities to see whether it has complied with a program aimed to ease the mortgage-lending process. [More]