Yesterday, the SEC announced the results from the agency’s fiscal year 2022 enforcement activity, and it should come as no surprise that overall enforcement activity at the agency was up in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2022. The SEC noted that it filed 760 total enforcement actions in fiscal year 2022, a 9 percent increase over the prior year. These included 462 new, or “stand alone,” enforcement actions, a 6.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2021; 129 actions against issuers who were allegedly delinquent in making required filings with the SEC; and 169 “follow-on” administrative proceedings seeking to bar or suspend individuals from certain functions in the securities markets based on criminal convictions, civil injunctions, or other orders.
The SEC also notes that money ordered in SEC actions, comprising civil penalties, disgorgement, and pre-judgment interest, totaled $6.439 billion, the most on record in SEC history and up from $3.852 billion in fiscal year 2021. Fiscal year 2022 was the SEC’s second highest year ever in whistleblower awards, in terms of both the number of individuals awarded and the total dollar amounts awarded.
The SEC’s announcement goes into considerable detail about the types of cases the agency brought in 2022, including cases involving financial fraud and issuer disclosure, gatekeepers such as auditors, lawyers and transfer agents, crypto, cybersecurity, ESG, private funds, regulated entities and associated individuals, market abuses, public finance abuse and FCPA.
– Dave Lynn