Bittrex Faces SEC Charges for Unregistered Crypto Trading Platform

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Bittrex, Inc., its co-founder and former CEO William Shihara, and its foreign affiliate, Bittrex Global GmbH, with operating an unregistered national securities exchange, broker and clearing agency.  Bittrex is a crypto asset trading platform. 

The SEC alleges Bittrex facilitated the buying and selling of crypto assets, including crypto assets that the SEC allege are in fact securities. From 2017 to 2022, the platform earned at least $1.3 billion in revenues from transaction fees while servicing investors (including U.S. investors) without registering with the SEC. The SEC also alleges that Bittrex and CEO Shihara deleted “problematic statements” from public channels that could have lead to SEC investigation of unregulated security offerings. 

California Large Employers Wage Pay Reports Due, Results From 2020 Equal Pay Data

California expanded pay-data reporting requirements for large private employers. Employers with 100 employees, of which any are in California, are subject to EEO-1 reporting obligations under federal law but could satisfy California requirements by submitting their federal EEO-1 report. The EEO-1 included pay data by job category, sex, race, and ethnicity.  The next pay data report is due on May 10, 2023. Reviewing the available 2020 data, Schneider Wallace discovered these pay disparities between men and women at large California employers: 

Supreme Court: Hourly and Daily Rate Workers are Not Exempt and are Owed Overtime

The Supreme Court ruled on February 22nd, 2023 that workers earning daily rates are not exempt salaried workers and are therefore owed overtime. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal overturned the original decision the employee was exempt, ruling the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) did not allow day-rate or daily-rate workers to be considered the equivalent of salaried workers. The Supreme Court affirmed, 6-3, and held that daily-rate workers are entitled to overtime regardless of executive job titles or high earnings.

AbbVie Agrees to $2.7 Million Settlement for False Claim Act Whistleblower Lawsuit over Humira Prescriptions 

Pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. has agreed to pay $2.7 million to settle a whistleblower False Claims Act lawsuit, which alleged that the company used unlawful kickbacks to encourage medical providers to prescribe its drug Humira. Federal prosecutors have announced multiple settlements in 2023 for False Claim Act allegations, a list of 12 including the Humira settlement are listed here.

Consumer Product Safety Commission Warning About E-Bikes, E-Bike Battery Fire in NYC Kills Two Children

On December 20th, 2022, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a memo calling the rate of e-bike battery fires a “crisis”. This is referencing both the amount of property destruction and injuries and death being caused by lithium-ion battery fires in e-bikes. Recent e-bike fires have made the news after battery explosions have caused house fires, injuries and death. On Monday April 10th, 2023, a 7-year-old boy and his 19-year-old sister died after being trapped in their Queens, New York City apartment when an e-bike battery exploded. The fire, described by the FDNY Chief as like an explosion, had blocked their only exit.

Jetson Hoverboard Recall After Two Deaths

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of approximately 53,000 Jetson Rogue 42-volt self-balancing scooters/hoverboards, due to the lithium-ion battery packs overheating and fire hazards. This follows a tragic fire in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, on April 1, 2022, which caused the death of two girls aged 10 and 15. The fire was determined to have originated from the 42-volt Jetson Rogue hoverboard.

SEC Announces Emergency Action on Alleged BKCoin $100 Million Crypto Fraud Scheme

On March 6th, 2023, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced they secured an emergency action to freeze the assets of BKCoin Management LLC and its owner and operator Kevin Kang.  The SEC alleges BKCoin ran a Ponzi-like cryto asset management fraud, using $100 million in investor funds to pay investors “returns”, and misusing investor funds to pay for expensive vacations, tickets, and apartment rentals. 

Illinois Supreme Court Rules BIPA Violations Occur With Each Scan, Swipe, or Transmission

On February 17th, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court issued the opinion in Cothron v White Castle Systems, ruling that the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) defines violations as each time a private entity scans or transmits data that violates BIPA. With the clarity from the Illinois Supreme Court that BIPA violations occur each time biometric information is collected without consent or approval, the BIPA damages of $1000 ($5000 if “willful”) occur with each act.

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Announces Launch of Mediation Practice

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP announces the launch of a mediation practice at the firm.  Joshua Konecky, who has been with the firm since 2004, is leading the practice and serving as the neutral for the mediations.  Josh has spent over twenty-five years litigating and managing complex civil litigation in the state and federal courts in California and across the country.  He has extensive experience in employment law, including wage and hour class actions, and has facilitated settlements in a variety of other subject areas.

California’s Fast-Food Wage Law Temporarily Halted by Superior Court

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge has temporarily halted AB 257, after a restaurant group sued the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the director of the California Department of Industrial Relations.  The law, which sets new rules on wages and labor standards in the fast-food industry, was set to be enacted on January 1st, 2023.