SEC´s FY 2014 Enforcement Actions Span Securities Industry and Include First-Ever Cases

New Investigative Approaches and Innovative Use of Data and Analytical Tools Help Drive Successful Enforcement Year


Washington D.C., Oct. 16, 2014 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that in fiscal year 2014, new investigative approaches and the innovative use of data and analytical tools contributed to a very strong year for enforcement marked by cases that spanned the securities industry.  

In the fiscal year that ended in September, the SEC filed a record 755 enforcement actions covering a wide range of misconduct, and obtained orders totaling $4.16 billion in disgorgement and penalties, according to preliminary figures.  In FY 2013, the Commission filed 686 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling $3.4 billion in disgorgement and penalties.  In FY 2012, the Commission filed 734 enforcement actions and obtained orders totaling $3.1 billion in disgorgement and penalties.

The agency´s enforcement actions also included a number of first-ever cases, including actions  involving the market access rule, the "pay-to-play" rule for investment advisers, an emergency action to halt a municipal bond offering, and an action for whistleblower retaliation.

 "Aggressive enforcement against wrongdoers who harm investors and threaten our financial markets remains a top priority, and we brought and will continue to bring creative and important enforcement actions across a broad range of the securities markets," said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  "The innovative use of technology – enhanced use of data and quantitative analysis – was instrumental in detecting misconduct and contributed to the Enforcement Division´s success in bringing quality actions that resulted in stiff monetary sanctions."

"Time and again this past year, the Division´s staff applied its tremendous energy and talent, uncovered misconduct, and held accountable those who were responsible for wrongdoing," said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC´s Division of Enforcement.  "I am proud of our excellent record of success and look forward to another year filled with high-impact enforcement actions."

In addition to the first-ever cases, Chair White noted that the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative was an important effort that began in the last fiscal year.  The SEC reached a settlement with a California school district for charges of misleading bond investors, making it the first settlement under the initiative targeting municipal disclosure. 

Director Ceresney added that, going forward, the Enforcement Division will continue to bring its resources to bear across the entire spectrum of the financial industry, from complex accounting fraud and market structure cases, to investment adviser and municipal securities cases, microcap fraud, insider trading, and cases against gatekeepers.

SEC Enforcement in Fiscal Year 2014

Combatting Financial Fraud and Enhancing Issuer Disclosure

Ensuring Exchanges, Traders and Other Market Participants Operate Fairly

Uncovering Misconduct by Investment Advisers and Investment Companies

Increasing Activity in Whistleblower Program

Holding Gatekeepers Accountable

Rooting Out Insider Trading 

Upholding Disclosure Standards in Municipal Securities

Cracking Down on Misconduct Involving Complex Financial Instruments

Combatting Foreign Corrupt Practices and Obtaining Highest-Ever Penalties Against Individuals

Demanding Admissions in Important Cases Enhancing Public Accountability

Successful Litigation

Additional data on the SEC´s FY 2014 enforcement results will be available as part of the SEC´s upcoming Agency Financial Report.