In 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, enjoyed an “unprecedented year” in enforcement cases, not only in the numbers brought, but also in the types of cases investigated and filed. The SEC’s enforcement division brought 755 cases and collected an agency record $4.1 billion in 2014. In contrast, the SEC brought 686 enforcement actions in 2013, which resulted in $3.4 billion in disgorgement and penalties.
Mary Jo White, SEC Chairman, commented: “We focused on innovative, high impact cases and punished and deterred wrongdoers in a way that sent important messages to the market, including by obtaining more admissions to achieve heightened accountability and acceptance of responsibility from entities and individuals.” The SEC Chairman further noted: “Enforcement is focused on cases involving violations where market participants fail to provide a level playing field in the securities markets,” claiming that the securities agency has renewed its enforcement sights on financial reporting and auditing fraud, achieving a 40 percent increase in financial reporting cases last year.
In addition to the SEC’s Enforcement Division, its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) was also productive. Examiners completed 1,850 registrant exams last year, a 15 percent increase.
Chairman White outlined several of the most critical priorities for the SEC in 2015, including market structure reform, enhanced risk monitoring of asset managers and issues concerning small company capital raising, such as crowdfunding. The agency will continue to focus on initiatives such as the adoption of a fiduciary standard for broker/dealers, the review of the accredited investor requirements and enhancements for broker/dealer responsibility rules.
If you are under investigation, or being sued by, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or any other securities regulatory body, including FINRA, contact my law firm for a confidential, no cost consultation on the process, your legal rights and strategic options. Call David Chase, Esq. toll-free at: 800-760-0912 or e-mail at: email@example.com.