The SEC focused on a number of new kinds of errant financial behavior in 2015 as the agency filed a record number of enforcement cases and fines against both companies and individuals.
This year, the SEC filed 807 enforcement actions and got orders for $4.2 billion in penalties and disgorgements of illicit gains for the year ended September 30, a seven percent increase from last year’s record 755 actions. Fines and disgorgements went up one percent from $4.16 billion.
For the first time, the SEC brought actions against a private equity advisor, Kohlberg Kravis Robert & Co., for allegedly improperly allocating $17 million in “broken deal” expenses and charged Edward D. Jones & Co. for alleged pricing-related fraud in the primary market for municipal securities.
The agency also filed its first action against a fund board for failing to report a relevant compliance issue.
May Joe White, Chairwoman of the SEC, believes the agency’s enforcement division’s use of data, analytics and other professional expertise with the SEC helped it increase the number of cases filed.
“Vigorous and comprehensive enforcement protects investors and reassures them that our financial markets operate with integrity and transparency, and the commission continues that enforcement approach by bringing innovative cases holding executives and companies accountable for their wrongdoing,” stated White.
The agency filed 507 independent enforcement actions, compared to 413 last year, and 168 follow-on actions, compared to 232 last year, according to commission data. It also brought 132 actions for delinquent filings in 2015, compared with 110 the previous year.
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