Summary of NC State Treasurer Janet Cowell’s Violations
Submitted to the SEC Whistleblower Office – Mr. Sean McKessy
Investment adviser Registration
Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. § 80b-2(a)(11)), which is a key federal law, defines “investment adviser” in part as “any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others, either directly or through publications or writings, as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities, or who, for compensation and as part of a regular business, issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning securities.”
Three essential elements that characterize an investment adviser are:
- Provides advice or analysis on securities either by making direct or indirect recommendations to clients or by providing research or opinions on securities or securities markets.
- Receives compensation in any form for the advice provided.
- Engages in a regular business of providing advice on securities.
18 USC 80(b) – Necessary for Investment Adviser to be Registered
(1) An investment adviser, or any person who presently contemplates becoming an investment adviser, may be registered by filing with the Commission an application for registration in such form and containing such of the following information and documents as the Commission, by rule, may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors:
(A) the name and form of organization under which the investment adviser engages or intends to engage in business; the name of the State or other sovereign power under which such investment adviser is organized; the location of his or its principal business office and branch offices, if any; the names and addresses of his or its partners, officers, directors, and persons performing similar functions or, if such an investment adviser be an individual, of such individual; and the number of his or its employees;
(B) the education, the business affiliations for the past ten years, and the present business affiliations of such investment adviser and of his or its partners, officers, directors, and persons performing similar functions and of any controlling person thereof;
(C) the nature of the business of such investment adviser, including the manner of giving advice and rendering analyses or reports;
(D) a balance sheet certified by an independent public accountant and other financial statements (which shall, as the Commission specifies, be certified);
(E) the nature and scope of the authority of such investment adviser with respect to clients’ funds and accounts;
(F) the basis or bases upon which such investment adviser is compensated;
(G) whether such investment adviser, or any person associated with such investment adviser, is subject to any disqualification which would be a basis for denial, suspension, or revocation of registration of such investment adviser under the provisions of subsection (e) of this section; and
(H) a statement as to whether the principal business of such investment adviser consists or is to consist of acting as investment adviser and a statement as to whether a substantial part of the business of such investment adviser, consists or is to consist of rendering investment supervisory services.
(2) Within forty-five days of the date of the filing of such application (or within such longer period as to which the applicant consents) the Commission shall—
(A) by order grant such registration; or
(B) institute proceedings to determine whether registration should be denied. Such proceedings shall include notice of the grounds for denial under consideration and opportunity for hearing and shall be concluded within one hundred twenty days of the date of the filing of the application for registration. At the conclusion of such proceedings the Commission, by order, shall grant or deny such registration. The Commission may extend the time for conclusion of such proceedings for up to ninety days if it finds good cause for such extension and publishes its reasons for so finding or for such longer period as to which the applicant consents.
The Commission shall grant such registration if the Commission finds that the requirements of this section are satisfied and that the applicant is not prohibited from registering as an investment adviser under section 80b–3a of this title. The Commission shall deny such registration if it does not make such a finding or if it finds that if the applicant were so registered, its registration would be subject to suspension or revocation under subsection (e) of this section.
(A) involves the purchase or sale of any security, the taking of a false oath, the making of a false report, bribery, perjury, burglary, any substantially equivalent activity however denominated by the laws of the relevant foreign government, or conspiracy to commit any such offense;
(B) arises out of the conduct of the business of a broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer, investment adviser, bank, insurance company, government securities broker, government securities dealer, fiduciary, transfer agent, credit rating agency, foreign person performing a function substantially equivalent to any of the above, or entity or person required to be registered under the Commodity Exchange Act [7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.] or any substantially equivalent statute or regulation;
(C) involves the larceny, theft, robbery, extortion, forgery, counterfeiting, fraudulent concealment, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of funds or securities or substantially equivalent activity however denominated by the laws of the relevant foreign government; or
(D) involves the violation of section 152, 1341,
(6) has willfully aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, or procured the violation by any other person of any provision of the Securities Act of 1933 [15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.], the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.], the Investment Company Act of 1940 [15 U.S.C. 80a–1 et seq.], this subchapter, the Commodity Exchange Act [7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.], the rules or regulations under any of such statutes, or the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, or has failed reasonably to supervise, with a view to preventing violations of the provisions of such statutes, rules and regulations, another person who commits such a violation, if such other person is subject to his supervision. For the purposes of this paragraph no person shall be deemed to have failed reasonably to supervise any person, if—
(A) there have been established procedures, and a system for applying such procedures, which would reasonably be expected to prevent and detect, insofar as practicable, any such violation by such other person, and
(B) such person has reasonably discharged the duties and obligations incumbent upon him by reason of such procedures and system without reasonable cause to believe that such procedures and system were not being complied with.
(B) constitutes a final order based on violations of any laws or regulations that prohibit fraudulent, manipulative, or deceptive conduct.
Bar or suspension from association with investment adviser; notice and hearing
The Commission, by order, shall censure or place limitations on the activities of any person associated, seeking to become associated, or, at the time of the alleged misconduct, associated or seeking to become associated with an investment adviser, or suspend for a period not exceeding twelve months or bar any such person from being associated with an investment adviser, if the Commission finds, on the record after notice and opportunity for hearing, that such censure, placing of limitations, suspension, or bar is in the public interest and that such person has committed or omitted any act or omission enumerated in paragraph (1), (5), (6), (8), or (9) of subsection (e) of this section or has been convicted of any offense specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (e) of this section within ten years of the commencement of the proceedings under this subsection, or is enjoined from any action, conduct, or practice specified in paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of this section. It shall be unlawful for any person as to whom such an order suspending or barring him from being associated with an investment adviser is in effect willfully to become, or to be, associated with an investment adviser without the consent of the Commission, and it shall be unlawful for any investment adviser to permit such a person to become, or remain, a person associated with him without the consent of the Commission, if such investment adviser knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known, of such order.
Sec. 643. Accounting generally for public money
Whoever, being an officer, employee or agent of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, having received public money which he is not authorized to retain as salary, pay, or emolument, fails to render his accounts for the same as provided by law is guilty of embezzlement, and shall be fined under this title or in a sum equal to the amount of the money embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the amount embezzled does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Sec. 78r. Liability for misleading statements
Persons liable; persons entitled to recover; defense of good faith; suit at law or in equity; costs, etc.
Any person who shall make or cause to be made any statement in any application, report, or document filed pursuant to this chapter or any rule or regulation thereunder or any undertaking contained in a registration statement as provided in subsection (d) of section 78o of this title, which statement was at the time and in the light of the circumstances under which it was made false or misleading with respect to any material fact, shall be liable to any person (not knowing that such statement was false or misleading) who, in reliance upon such statement, shall have purchased or sold a security at a price which was affected by such statement, for damages caused by such reliance, unless the person sued shall prove that he acted in good faith and had no knowledge that such statement was false or misleading. A person seeking to enforce such liability may sue at law or in equity in any court of competent jurisdiction. In any such suit the court may, in its discretion, require an undertaking for the payment of the costs of such suit, and assess reasonable costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, against either party litigant.
Every person who becomes liable to make payment under this section may recover contribution as in cases of contract from any person who, if joined in the original suit, would have been liable to make the same payment.
Period of limitations
No action shall be maintained to enforce any liability created under this section unless brought within one year after the discovery of the facts constituting the cause of action and within three years after such cause of action accrued.
Sec. 648. Custodians, generally, misusing public funds
Whoever, being an officer or other person charged by any Act of Congress with the safe-keeping of the public moneys, loans, uses, or converts to his own use, or deposits in any bank, including any branch or agency of a foreign bank (as such terms are defined in paragraphs (1) and (3) of section 1(b) of the International Banking Act of 1978), or exchanges for other funds, except as specially allowed by law, any portion of the public moneys entrusted to him for safe-keeping, is guilty of embezzlement of the money so loaned, used, converted, deposited, or exchanged, and shall be fined under this title or in a sum equal to the amount of money so embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the amount embezzled does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Sec. 650. Depositaries failing to safeguard deposits
If the Treasurer of the United States or any public depositary fails to keep safely all moneys deposited by any disbursing officer or disbursing agent, as well as all moneys deposited by any receiver, collector, or other person having money of the United States, he is guilty of embezzlement, and shall be fined under this title or in a sum equal to the amount of money so embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the amount embezzled does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Sec. 653. Disbursing officer misusing public funds
Whoever, being a disbursing officer of the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or a person acting as such, in any manner converts to his own use, or loans with or without interest, or deposits in any place or in any manner, except as authorized by law, any public money intrusted to him; or, for any purpose not prescribed by law, withdraws from the Treasury or any authorized depositary, or transfers, or applies, any portion of the public money entrusted to him, is guilty of embezzlement of the money so converted, loaned, deposited, withdrawn, transferred, or applied, and shall be fined under this title or not more than the amount embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the amount embezzled is $1,000 or less, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Sec. 664. Theft or embezzlement from employee benefit plan
Any person who embezzles, steals, or unlawfully and willfully abstracts or converts to his own use or to the use of another, any of the moneys, funds, securities, premiums, credits, property, or other assets of any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan, or of any fund connected therewith, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
As used in this section, the term “any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan” means any employee benefit plan subject to any provision of title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Sec. 1005. Bank entries, reports and transactions
Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a)  of the Federal Reserve Act, without authority from the directors of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or company, issues or puts in circulation any notes of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or company; or
Whoever, without such authority, makes, draws, issues, puts forth, or assigns any certificate of deposit, draft, order, bill of exchange, acceptance, note, debenture, bond, or other obligation, or mortgage, judgment or decree; or
Whoever makes any false entry in any book, report, or statement of such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization with intent to injure or defraud such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization, or any other company, body politic or corporate, or any individual person, or to deceive any officer of such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization, or the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or any agent or examiner appointed to examine the affairs of such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization, or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; or
Whoever with intent to defraud the United States or any agency thereof, or any financial institution referred to in this section, participates or shares in or receives (directly or indirectly) any money, profit, property, or benefits through any transaction, loan, commission, contract, or any other act of any such financial institution—
Shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
As used in this section, the term “national bank” is synonymous with “national banking association”; “member bank” means and includes any national bank, state bank, or bank or trust company, which has become a member of one of the Federal Reserve banks; “insured bank” includes any state bank, banking association, trust company, savings bank, or other banking institution, the deposits of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and the term “branch or agency of a foreign bank” means a branch or agency described in section 20 (9) of this title. For purposes of this section, the term “depository institution holding company” has the meaning given such term in section 3(w)(1) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act.
Sec. 1006. Federal credit institution entries, reports and transactions
Whoever, being an officer, agent or employee of or connected in any capacity with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of Thrift Supervision, any Federal home loan bank, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Resolution Trust Corporation, Farm Credit Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, the Secretary of Agriculture acting through the Farmers Home Administration or successor agency, the Rural Development Administration or successor agency, or the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, a Farm Credit Bank, a bank for cooperatives or any lending, mortgage, insurance, credit or savings and loan corporation or association authorized or acting under the laws of the United States or any institution, other than an insured bank (as defined in section 656), the accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or by the National Credit Union Administration Board or any small business investment company, with intent to defraud any such institution or any other company, body politic or corporate, or any individual, or to deceive any officer, auditor, examiner or agent of any such institution or of department or agency of the United States, makes any false entry in any book, report or statement of or to any such institution, or without being duly authorized, draws any order or bill of exchange, makes any acceptance, or issues, puts forth or assigns any note, debenture, bond or other obligation, or draft, bill of exchange, mortgage, judgment, or decree, or, with intent to defraud the United States or any agency thereof, or any corporation, institution, or association referred to in this section, participates or shares in or receives directly or indirectly any money, profit, property, or benefits through any transaction, loan, commission, contract, or any other act of any such corporation, institution, or association, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
Sec. 1007. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation transactions
Whoever, for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, knowingly makes or invites reliance on a false, forged, or counterfeit statement, document, or thing shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
Sec. 1027. False statements and concealment of facts in relation to documents required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
Whoever, in any document required by title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (as amended from time to time) to be published, or kept as part of the records of any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan, or certified to the administrator of any such plan, makes any false statement or representation of fact, knowing it to be false, or knowingly conceals, covers up, or fails to disclose any fact the disclosure of which is required by such title or is necessary to verify, explain, clarify or check for accuracy and completeness any report required by such title to be published or any information required by such title to be certified, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Sec. 2073. False entries and reports of moneys or securities
Whoever, being an officer, clerk, agent, or other employee of the United States or any of its agencies, charged with the duty of keeping accounts or records of any kind, with intent to deceive, mislead, injure, or defraud, makes in any such account or record any false or fictitious entry or record of any matter relating to or connected with his duties; or
Whoever, being an officer, clerk, agent, or other employee of the United States or any of its agencies, charged with the duty of receiving, holding, or paying over moneys or securities to, for, or on behalf of the United States, or of receiving or holding in trust for any person any moneys or securities, with like intent, makes a false report of such moneys or securities—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
31 USC 5313
(a) When a domestic financial institution is involved in a transaction for the payment, receipt, or transfer of United States coins or currency (or other monetary instruments the Secretary of the Treasury prescribes), in an amount, denomination, or amount and denomination, or under circumstances the Secretary prescribes by regulation, the institution and any other participant in the transaction the Secretary may prescribe shall file a report on the transaction at the time and in the way the Secretary prescribes. A participant acting for another person shall make the report as the agent or bailee of the person and identify the person for whom the transaction is being made.