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Securities and Exchange Commission Announces Fiscal Year 2016 Enforcement Results

Special Focus on Securities Whistleblowers

Last week the SEC announced the results of its Fiscal Year 2016 enforcement efforts. The SEC highlighted that in FY 2016 it brought 868 enforcement actions – a record number of enforcement actions in a single year.

Noting that the enforcement program “continues to be a resounding success,” the SEC credited at least part of its success to the agency’s use of data and analytics to identify insider trading and other schemes.

Highlights of the agency’s 2016 enforcement efforts include:

  • Increasing enforcement actions against investment advisers;

  • Enhancing actions against issuers of securities, including municipalities and other public agencies; and

  • Continuing to prosecute “gatekeepers” (i.e., auditors, attorneys, and other professionals) who participate in wrongful schemes.

SEC Focuses on Securities Whistleblowers

Additionally, the SEC noted the success of its whistleblower program in 2016, with the SEC’s whistleblower program awarding over $57 million to 13 whistleblowers in FY 2016, which is more than all previous years combined.

In addition to these recoveries, the SEC prosecuted its first stand-alone action for retaliation against a securities whistleblower.

And the agency brought charges against several companies under Exchange Act Rule 21F-17, which prohibits the use of confidentiality agreements to impede a securities whistleblower.

Williams Dirks Dameron protects investors and securities whistleblowers in all types of claims related to investments and securities. To learn more, contact Matt Dameron at or (816) 876-2600.

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