On October 11th, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that, in fiscal year 2016, it filed 868 enforcement actions exposing financial reporting-related misconduct by companies and their executives and misconduct by registrants and gatekeepers, as the agency continued to enhance its use of data to detect illegal conduct and expedite investigations.
The new single year high for SEC enforcement actions for the fiscal year that ended September 30 included the most ever cases involving investment advisers or investment companies (160) and the most ever independent or standalone cases involving investment advisers or investment companies (98). The agency also reached new highs for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-related enforcement actions (21) and money distributed to whistleblowers ($57 million) in a single year.
The agency also brought a record 548 standalone or independent enforcement actions and obtained judgments and orders totaling more than $4 billion in disgorgement and penalties.
“By every measure the enforcement program continues to be a resounding success holding executives, companies and market participants accountable for their illegal actions,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “Over the last three years, we have changed the way we do business on the enforcement front by using new data analytics to uncover fraud, enhancing our ability to litigate tough cases, and expanding the playbook bringing novel and significant actions to better protect investors and our markets.”
The SEC’s most significant enforcement actions in fiscal year 2016 include: