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The SEC Has Released Its Enforcement Action Totals For 2023, Will Have to Try Harder Next Year

United States Securities and Exchange Commission SEC architecture closeup with modern building sign and logo with red flags by glass windows

The Securities and Exchange Commission has released its enforcement action totals for 2023 and while enforcement actions were up, they did not beat 2022’s record of $6.4 billion in penalties and disgorgement. Better luck next year, guys.

In fiscal 2023, the SEC filed 784 total enforcement actions, a three percent increase over fiscal year 2022. This includes 501 original, or “stand-alone,” enforcement actions, an eight percent increase over the prior fiscal year. The SEC also filed 162 “follow-on” administrative proceedings seeking to bar or suspend individuals from certain functions in the securities markets based on criminal convictions, civil injunctions, or other orders and 121 actions against issuers who were allegedly delinquent in making required filings with the SEC.

Curious which violation racked up the most SEC enforcements in 2023? Got you.

SEC 2023 enforcements by classification

Disgorgement was higher in 2023 than 2022  — nearly higher than every year the SEC includes in the chart, actually — but wasn’t enough to top last year’s penalties and disgorgement total.

SEC enforcement penalties and disgorgement by year

While 2023 was busier than last year, it didn’t beat out FY18 and 19.

SEC enforcement actions filed by year

And now for the obligatory press release humblebragging:

The stand-alone enforcement actions spanned the securities industry, from billion-dollar frauds to emerging investor threats involving crypto asset securities and cybersecurity, and charged violations by diverse market participants, from public companies and investment firms to gatekeepers and social media influencers. The SEC also brought numerous enforcement actions addressing conduct that undermines oversight of the securities industry, including actions to protect whistleblowers and actions to enforce recordkeeping requirements and other investor protection requirements applicable to industry participants, including broker-dealers and investment firms.

“The investing public benefits from the Division of Enforcement’s work as a cop on the beat,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Last fiscal year’s results demonstrate yet again the Division’s effectiveness—working alongside colleagues throughout the agency—in following the facts and the law wherever they lead to hold wrongdoers accountable.”

If you follow that press release link to the “Addendum: FY23 Enforcement Statistics,” you can see everyone they dinged and for what all in one grievously long PDF.

One thought on “The SEC Has Released Its Enforcement Action Totals For 2023, Will Have to Try Harder Next Year

  1. The only thing the CPA profession has to try harder at is better representing our profession, rather than the current steamrolling lawyers and bureaucrats are giving us. Enron was over 20 years ago- our profession has said enough Our Fathers and Hail Mary’s. We need to stand up to the tyranny and represent our profession, or else we won’t have one. The PCAOB must be eliminated, and the rest SOX re-assessed.

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