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    $30 million award to tipster underscores banner year for SEC whistleblower program

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission experienced a banner year with its whistleblower program in fiscal 2014, awarding more tipsters than all previous years combined and issuing a record-setting $30 million to one individual who reported fraud. The SEC said in a report to Congress this week that it authorized a total of nine monetary awards this year to people who provided original information about violations of federal securities laws. The agency had previously handed out a combined four awards since the program began in 2011. More in the Washington Post here.

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    SEC approves rules on stock exchange technology

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Despite concerns of some commissioners that a rule doesn’t go far enough, the Securities Exchange Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of regulations designed to ensure the technology at stock exchanges works. The Commission voted to adopt rules on Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity, which requires self-regulatory organizations, securities exchanges, registered clearing agencies and significant alternative trading systems, to establish policies and procedures to help ensure that systems have capacity, integrity and resiliency. SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said the adoption of the rule was put in place because the commission could not exercise oversight with a purely voluntary framework. More on Market Watch here.

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    Madoff Fraud Recovery for Bilked Investors Tops $10 Billion

    The trustee unwinding Bernard Madoff’s defunct investment firm said he surpassed $10 billion in recoveries for victims — or about 59 percent of the principal lost in the Ponzi scheme — after reaching a deal with two offshore funds that funneled money to the fraud.
    Primeo Fund and Herald Fund, both based in the Cayman Islands, agreed to pay a total of $497 million to end lawsuits over their withdrawals from Madoff’s investment advisory business, the trustee, Irving Picard, said today in a statement.
    If the settlement is approved, the total amount recovered by Picard’s team of lawyers over the past six years will total more than $10.3 billion of the $17.5 billion lost by thousand of investors when Madoff’s scheme unraveled in December 2008. More on Bloomberg here.

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    Madoff Fraud Recovery for Bilked Investors Tops $10 Billion

    Two Cayman Island financial funds that invested heavily with Ponzi scheme architect Bernard Madoff’s business have agreed to a nearly $497 million settlement with the court trustee seeking the disgraced financier’s assets on behalf of victimized customers. The tentative deal with Herald Fund SPC and Primeo Fund will add the money to a fund used to repay burned Madoff investors, raising the total recovered so far to roughly $10.3 billion, trustee Irving Picard announced Monday. The agreement, which requires U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval, “avoids the cost and delay of what could otherwise have been lengthy and contentious litigation,” said Geoffrey North of BakerHostetler LLP, Picard’s court-appointed counsel. More on Bloomberg here.

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    Finra expected to adopt CARDS despite vocal industry resistance

    Despite strong industry resistance, Finra is expected to adopt a controversial proposal to implement an automated tracking system to detect abusive broker conduct. “They’re going to go through with it,” said Linda Riefberg, a partner at Cozen O’Connor and a former chief counsel for Finra enforcement. “They don’t have to have firms’ approval. Finra, and presumably the [Securities and Exchange Commission], believes this is a way to strengthen their investor protection.” The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., the self-funded broker-dealer regulator, sees its Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System, or CARDS, as a way to use technology to make itself a more effective and nimble regulator. More on Investment News here.

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