Critics Say Low Hanging Fruit Key To SEC's Record Year

Law360, New York (November 23, 2011, 5:21 PM EST) -- Though the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission continues to tout the record number of enforcement actions taken over the past year, a closer look suggests an agency more focused on pursuing easy wins than taking on the complex claims and big guns linked to the financial crisis, critics say.

Earlier this month, the SEC's Division of Enforcement revealed that it had filed 735 enforcement actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, after a series of missteps — including failing to catch Bernard Madoff's $65 billion fraud — forced the agency to overhaul its operations in 2009 and 2010.

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