Litigation Release No. 25130 / July 1, 2021
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Shawn F. Hackman, No. 2:21-cv-01234 (D. Nev. filed June 30, 2021)
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it filed an Application in federal district court alleging that Shawn F. Hackman violated a September 10, 2002 Commission Order that suspended him from appearing or practicing before the Commission as an attorney after he was disbarred by the Supreme Court of Nevada.
According to the SEC’s Application, filed pursuant to Section 21(e)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Hackman violated the order by (1) drafting and providing legal advice on SEC filings made by scores of companies, and (2) directly communicating with SEC staff on substantive legal issues concerning SEC filings. The SEC’s Application further alleges that Hackman earned more than $800,000 for work that violated his suspension order. The SEC seeks a federal court order requiring him to comply with the suspension order and to disgorge all profits earned in violation of that order.
In addition to the charges against Hackman, the Commission instituted administrative proceedings against Elaine A. Dowling, Esq. and Harold P. Gewerter, Esq., pursuant to Section 4C of the Securities Exchange of Act of 1934 and Rule 102(e) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice. The administrative proceedings allege that Dowling and Gewerter engaged in improper professional conduct by allowing and enabling Hackman to appear and practice before the SEC in violation of his suspension (and his Nevada disbarment) while they employed Hackman as a purported “paralegal.” Gewerter consented to the entry of an order denying him the privilege of appearing or practicing before the Commission. A hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law judge in the proceeding against Dowling.
The SEC’s investigation has been conducted by Eric Reicher and Karen Shimp and supervised by Thomas Karr. The litigation will be handled by the same attorneys, all in the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel.