SEC penalties total $4.2 billion in FY 2015

Actions for federal securities laws violations set a record high.

The SEC filed more than 800 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling about $4.2 billion in disgorgement and penalties in the 2015 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

There were 807 actions filed during the fiscal year, the commission said. Of them, a record 507 were independent actions for violations of federal securities laws—up 23% compared with the previous year.

The remaining 300 actions were either against issuers who were delinquent in making required filings to the SEC or administrative proceedings seeking bars against individuals based on criminal convictions, civil injunctions, or other orders, according to an SEC news release.

In fiscal 2013, there were 676 enforcement actions, followed by 755 in fiscal 2014. The amount of disgorgement and penalties has grown from $3.1 billion in fiscal 2012 to $4.2 billion for the 2015 fiscal year.

Financial reporting remained a key enforcement priority this year, the SEC said. Other areas of focus included ensuring exchanges, traders, and other market participants operate fairly; rooting out insider and abusive trading schemes through data; and fighting market manipulation and microcap fraud.

SPONSORED QUIZ

How well do you know small business?

There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and many of them are optimistic in their outlook. Are you familiar with the obstacles and opportunities they are facing? Test your small business acumen with this quiz sponsored by Chase Ink®.

SPONSORED REPORT

In focus: Payroll

Providing payroll services that comply with ever-changing regulations and meet evolving employee and employer demands is no easy task. Paychex's Tom Hammond discusses common payroll considerations for CPA firms.