Securities regulation is a complex area of law and with the introduction of more advanced technology almost every day, it is very difficult to prevent exposure to liability in the securities trading industry. These regulations can impact anyone from an individual broker to an entire financial institution.
One of the most recent and infamous financial fraud cases involves Bernie Madoff. Recently, the Supreme Court declined to hear arguments related to this dispute.
Specifically, investors had asked the Court to review a lower court's decision on how claims should be calculated - which the Supreme Court refused to do. If the Court had decided to hear the issue, the decision could have slowed down the damages payout process.
By denying the request for review, the Court left in place the calculation method backed by a federal Court of Appeals, which calculated losses as the difference between the cash deposited and the amount withdrawn from any Madoff accounts before the fraud was discovered in December 2008. This method results in the total amount of damages of $20 billion - as opposed to $60 billion in damages that the appealing investors want the Supreme Court to approve. The bankruptcy trustee now plans on going forward with the distribution to victims under the Court of Appeals calculation.
At the Supreme Court's request, the Securities and Exchange Commission had issued a brief in support of the appellate determination.
Questions such as the one noted here are common in cases involving securities fraud, which are often very complex due to the tangled web of financial transactions and often extended period of time involved.
Source: New York Times, "Supreme Court Declines to Hear Madoff Dispute," Peter Lattman, June 25, 2012