SEC Announces Record Year for Enforcement

With a continued focus on technology tools to filter data and detect illegal conduct in the markets, the SEC announced a record year for enforcement. In fiscal year 2016, it completed 868 total actions, an increase of almost 15 percent over just two years ago.

The 868 actions included 160 involving investment advisers or investment companies, and 98 independent or standalone cases involving investment advisers or investment companies, both records in a fiscal year. Another high mark came in enforcement actions related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, with 21.

In all, the Commission obtained judgments and orders totaling over $4 billion in disgorgement and penalties, a number in line with each of the last two years.

Notable was the rise in standalone actions from 2014 until present day, ramping up from 413 to 548, an increase of nearly 33%.

“Over the last three years, we have changed the way we do business on the enforcement front by using new data analytics to uncover fraud, enhancing our ability to litigate tough cases, and expanding the playbook bringing novel and significant actions to better protect investors and our markets,” SEC chair Mary Jo White said in a statement.

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