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The SEC reported that new investigative methods and innovative technologies have led to a banner year for enforcement actions, leading to a record number of actions taken and fines levied for 2014.
The SEC in fiscal 2014, which ended Sept 30, filed a record 755 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling $4.16 billion in disgorgement and penalties, according to preliminary figures.
The enforcement actions covered a broad spectrum of misconduct, and involved the first-ever cases of “pay to play” (payments made to state and local officials by advisors to gain government business) and the market access rule (procedures to limit the risk of offering market access to customers) according to the statement.
Jay Baris, a partner at law firm Morrison & Foerster, questioned the agency’s zeal in pursuing enforcement actions and its boast of achieving record numbers. Mr. Baris pointed to remarks from SEC commissioner Michael Piwowar, who, in a speech before the Securities Enforcement Forum in Washington on Oct. 14, decried the agency’s fast pace of enforcement actions as the laws and rules that govern the securities industry become increasingly complex.
For full access to the rest of Mr. Piwowar’s comments, please click here.