Typically, offshore funds are not subject to regulation under the U.S. securities regulations as long as they are not sold to U.S. citizens or residents. Offshore funds were not liable for fraud under §10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act unless they met the standards for the "conduct or effects" test. The test focused on:
- Whether the wrongful conduct occurred in the United States; and
- Whether the wrongful conduct had a substantial effect in the United States or upon United States citizens.
The "conduct or effects" test was rejected in Morrison v. Nat'l Austl. Bank Ltd. in 2010. The court established a new transactional test that stated that §10(b) and Rule 10b-5 do not apply extraterritorially, but only apply to "transactions in securities listed on domestic exchanges and domestic transactions in other securities." The court stated that domestic transactions should focus on the purchase and sale of securities. The case did not specifically define the term "domestic transactions," however, because the parties to the case were foreign and the dispute occurred outside the United States.