The number of enforcement actions continues to increase. In fiscal year 2015, the SEC initiated a record 807 actions, which represented a 7% increase over fiscal 2014, and a 10% increase over the median number of actions for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.
Actions against public company defendants resulted in large penalties and disgorgements. Although actions against public company defendants represented an average of 4% of actions from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2015, these actions accounted for 18% of all SEC monetary penalties and disgorgements during the period.
The SEC has increasingly utilized administrative proceedings. In fiscal 2015, 76% of the SEC’s actions against public company defendants were brought as administrative proceedings. The use of administrative proceedings by the SEC to seek penalties, which was enabled by the passage of Dodd-Frank in 2010, has resulted in more streamlined and more prompt decisions according to the SEC. It is worth noting that the use of administrative proceedings is under attack, with many critics questioning the constitutionality of the proceedings. The resolution of these challenges may negatively impact the number and type of cases that are brought administratively by the SEC.
This report provides evidence of the powerful impact of law enforcement following the passage of Dodd-Frank, highlighting the SEC’s determination to utilize all tools at its disposal in order to prevent corruption and to seek out wrongdoing wherever it occurs.
The materials appearing on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. You should not take action based upon this information without consulting legal counsel. This site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon any single source of information, including advertising on this website. You may ask us to send you further information about us, and we urge you to review other sources of information about us.