The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced its enforcement results for fiscal year 2016, reaching new highs in the number of actions filed and money ordered forfeited through disgorgement and penalties. The SEC noted that it brought the most ever cases involving investment advisers or investment companies, including 8 enforcement actions related to private equity advisers, an area that has clearly been a priority for the Commission over the past year, and a record 21 cases under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an area of increasing importance to the SEC.
The SEC reported new highs in several areas, including in the number of enforcement actions filed (868 total, with 548 independent or standalone actions), actions involving investment advisers or investment companies (160 total, with 98 independent or standalone actions), and actions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (21 total), imposing over $4 billion in disgorgement and penalties and distributing $57 million to whistleblowers. Compared to 2015, the SEC also filed more “follow-on” administrative proceedings to bar persons or entities from the securities industry, based on a prior entry of a civil injunction or a criminal proceeding.
Yearly data from 2014 through 2016 is summarized in the table below:
|Follow-on Administrative Proceedings (i.e., SEC Proceedings initiated following conviction or injunction in District Court)||232||168||195|
|Disgorgement and Penalties Ordered||$4.16 billion||$4.19 billion||“Over $4 billion”|
For more coverage of some of the recent SEC enforcement actions, please see our prior posts:
- SEC Whistleblower Settlement Reminds Fund Sponsors to Review Organizational Policies and Procedures
- SEC Announces Settlement with Adviser Found to Have Acted as an Unregistered Broker
- SEC Enforcement’s Increased Focus on Private Equity
- A Commonsense Explanation of the SEC’s Regulation of Private Investment Funds
- SEC Action Highlights Importance of Proper Expense Apportionment
- SEC Charges Private Equity Firm and Four Executives with Failing to Disclose Conflicts of Interest