SEC's Fraud Enforcement Shows Quality, If Not Quantity

Law360 (October 31, 2019, 5:40 PM EDT) -- In September 2018, shortly before the beginning of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's 2019 fiscal year, SEC Division of Enforcement Co-Director Stephanie Avakian discussed the standard by which the enforcement program should be judged.[1]

In Avakian’s eyes, and echoed this year by Co-Director Steven Peikin[2], the SEC should be judged by quality, not quantity: “[Statistics] do not provide a full and meaningful picture of the quality, nature, and effectiveness of the Division’s efforts.”[3]

By this metric, fiscal year 2019 was a positive year for the SEC in the area of financial fraud. The SEC brought several cases alleging that public...

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