Category Archives: Judicial Review

Behind the Annual SEC Enforcement Report: 2017 and Beyond, Part III

by Urska Velikonja

The following is the third post in a series of three on recent SEC enforcement. The full report can be accessed here. A note of caution to the readers: the SEC does not share enforcement data. All three posts are based on a database of SEC enforcement actions I have put together along with several research assistants, covering the period between 2007 and 2017. The data was collected by hand, and reviewed at least once. Entries were compared with SEC releases and reports, but the chance of error remains.

Litigation Venue

The Dodd-Frank Act authorized the SEC to bring almost any enforcement action in an administrative proceeding. Before Dodd-Frank, the SEC could secure civil fines against registered broker-dealers and investment advisers in administrative proceedings, but had to sue in court non-registered firms and individuals, including public companies and executives charged with accounting fraud, as well as traders charged with insider trading violations. After the Dodd-Frank amendment, save for a few remedies that can only be obtained in court, the SEC can choose the forum in which it prosecutes enforcement actions. Continue reading

Politics Aside, Americans Seem Confused On What Is And What Is Not A Crime


FBI Director James Comey was grilled last week
 on Capitol Hill where Republicans condemned and Democrats lauded his decision to not recommend prosecuting presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her actions of handling (mishandling) classified information.  As I watched Comey’s testimony, I was struck by how two groups of people could look at the same acts of a person and have such polarizing views as to whether or not a criminal act had occurred.  Politics aside, we need to have more of a consensus on what constitutes a crime. Continue reading