Frank DiPascali Is Dead, Four Months Before His Sentencing; Bernie Madoff’s ‘Sammy the Bull’ Was 58

It’s been barely two months since the Madoff Five—the only employees of Bernard L. Madoff who have been convicted of crimes at trial—began serving their prison terms. The government’s chief turncoat in the case was Frank DiPascali, Jr., who served as Madoff’s right hand. He was scheduled to be sentenced this September for his role in what Judge Laura Taylor Swain called “the biggest Ponzi scheme known to man.” But fate has ruled otherwise. Frank DiPascali died on Thursday night, his attorney, Marc L. Mukasey, just told me. “He was proud of the work he had done to make amends,” says Mukasey, a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. “The family requests privacy at this time.” More in Forbes [...]

‘Flash Crash’ Overhaul Is Snarled in Red Tape

A giant data project at the center of the regulatory response to the 2010 “flash crash” that sent the Dow plummeting nearly 1,000 points is years behind schedule and mired in red tape. The Consolidated Audit Trail, or CAT, originally was conceived as a way to enable regulators to monitor stock and options orders in real time and zero in on manipulators quickly. After the flash crash—which occurred May 6, 2010, and saw some big stocks lose nearly all their value before markets rebounded—the CAT was seen as a crucial step in protecting the markets from future swings. Yet the 10 organizations overseeing the process, including Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which operates the New York Stock Exchange, still haven’t chosen a firm to build and run it, and a final plan hasn’t been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. More in the Wall Street Journal [...]

SEC Backlog Delays Whistleblower Awards

As part of its popular whistleblower program, the Securities and Exchange Commission promises to move swiftly on useful information about potential wrongdoing. But the agency isn’t as speedy when it comes to paying off its tipsters. Of the 297 whistleblowers who have applied for awards since 2011, about 247—or roughly 83%—haven’t received a decision from the SEC, according to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal in response to a public-records request. Some of the award claims have been delayed more than two years. More in the Wall Street Journal [...]

Wall Street’s regulatory chief says data collection plan on hold

A controversial proposal by Wall Street’s industry-funded regulator to collect massive amounts of customer account data will not proceed until the industry’s concerns are addressed, the regulator’s chief executive will tell lawmakers Friday. “To be clear, we will not move ahead with the present form of the proposal and will not move forward with an amended version until we conclude that the concerns… have been addressed,” Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) CEO Richard Ketchum said in prepared testimony seen by Reuters. More on Reuters [...]

SEC Urged to Beef Up FINRA Oversight: GAO

The Securities and Exchange Commission is failing to adequately oversee the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday. In its report, “Securities Regulation: SEC Can Further Enhance Its Oversight of FINRA,” Congress’ investigative arm states that while the securities regulator has taken some actions since GAO suggested in 2012 that the agency beef up its oversight of the self-regulator, the SEC has yet to develop “specific performance goals and measures, with corresponding targets to monitor its progress toward the goal of enhancing” FINRA oversight. More on ThinkAdvisor [...]