Krstic, et al. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a settled cease-and-desist proceeding against financial technology company Wireline, Inc. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a settled cease-and-desist proceeding against Texas-based blockchain startup company Tierion, Inc. Qin, et al. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action and obtained an order imposing an asset freeze and other emergency relief against Virgil Capital LLC and its affiliated companies in connection with an alleged securities fraud relating to Virgil Capital's flagship cryptocurrency trading fund, Virgil Sigma Fund LP.
The Commission's action alleges that the fraud was directed by Stefan Qin, an Australian citizen and part-time resident of New York, who owns and controls Virgil Capital and its affiliated companies. Ripple Labs, Inc. Elmaani The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Amir Bruno Elmaani, who goes by the online alias Bruno Block, for conducting an illegal securities offering of digital tokens and for his scheme to profit by minting millions of unauthorized tokens for himself at no cost and selling them into the secondary market, thereby causing the value of others' tokens to plummet.
McAfee, et al. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged businessman and computer programmer John McAfee for promoting investments in initial coin offerings to his Twitter followers without disclosing that he was paid to do so, and also charged McAfee's bodyguard Jimmy Watson, Jr.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a settled cease-and-desist proceeding against Unikrn, Inc. FLiK, et al. Millan, et al. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two high-level promoters for acting as unregistered brokers when selling the securities of AirBit Club, an investment scheme that targeted LatinX and Spanish-speaking communities and promised returns through a purported digital asset trading program and from the recruitment of others. Tech, et al. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed settled cease-and-desist proceedings charging Virginia-based Boon.
The Commission filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against two Pennsylvania-based brothers and three entities they control to stop a cryptocurrency offering fraud and the misappropriation of investor proceeds. Putnam, et al. The Commission filed a complaint and obtained an asset freeze and other emergency relief against Daniel F.
Dropil, Inc. The Commission filed a complaint against Dropil, Inc. Meta 1 Coin Trust, et al. The Commission filed an emergency action against Meta 1 Coin Trust, a former state senator, and two others for allegedly conducting a fraudulent initial coin offering of unregistered digital asset securities. Ackerman The Commission filed a complaint against an Ohio-based businessman who allegedly orchestrated a digital asset scheme that defrauded approximately investors, including many physicians.
Grybniak, et al. The Commission filed a complaint against a purported blockchain-marketplace company and its founder for allegedly conducting a fraudulent initial coin offering of unregistered digital asset securities. The Commission filed a settled cease-and-desist proceeding against a blockchain technology company for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering of digital tokens. Eyal, et al. Telegram Group Inc. The Commission filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order against two offshore entities conducting an alleged unregistered, ongoing digital token offering in the U.
Lucas The Commission filed a complaint against Jonathan C. Lucas, the former founder and chief executive officer of Fantasy Market, a purported online adult entertainment marketplace, for allegedly orchestrating a fraudulent initial coin offering. ICOBox, et al. Bitqyck, Inc. The Commission filed a settled district court action against an entity and two individuals that violated the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the Securities and Exchange Acts by offering and selling two unregistered digital asset securities, and the entity violated Section 5 of the Exchange Act by operating an unregistered national securities exchange, which the individuals aided and abetted.
Middleton, et al. The Commission obtained an emergency asset freeze against Veritaseum, Inc. Longfin Corp. The Commission filed a district court action and obtained an emergency asset freeze against Longfin Corp. The Commission later filed an additional action against Longfin Corp.
Kik Interactive Inc. Natural Diamonds Investment Co. Argyle Coin, LLC, a purported cryptocurrency business, and its principal lured investors by falsely claiming an investment in Argyle Coin was risk-free because it was backed by fancy colored diamonds, and promising to use investor funds to develop the cryptocurrency business.
The Commission filed settled cease-and-desist proceedings against a celebrity who promoted ICOs on social media without disclosing the fact and amount of compensation he received from the issuers for the promotions. The Commission concluded that the PRG tokens were securities, and that the offering did not qualify from any exemption from registration. Blockvest LLC, et al. The Commission charged 1Broker and its CEO with registration violations in connection with their overseas trading platform that exclusively used bitcoins and offered and sold to U.
The Commission also alleged that 1Broker and its CEO failed to register the offer and sale of the products, failed to transact these products on a registered national exchange, performed no know-your-customer KYC inquiries, and acted as an unregistered dealer.
Laurance The Commission obtained officer-and-director and penny stock bars in a settlement with the founder of a company responsible for a fraudulent ICO to fund oil exploration and drilling. Jesky, et al. The Commission filed a settled district court action against two individuals who illegally sold restricted shares in UBI Blockchain Internet Ltd.
The Commission previously suspended trading in the stock. Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc. The Commission obtained a court order halting an alleged ongoing fraud involving an ICO. The court also approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver. Sharma, et al. The Commission filed a district court action against two co-founders of Centra Tech, Inc.
The Commission later filed an amended complaint against a third member of Centra Tech, Inc. Montroll, et al. The Commission filed a district court action against a former bitcoin-denominated platform and its operator for allegedly operating an unregistered securities exchange and defrauding users of that exchange. The SEC also charged the operator with making alleged false and misleading statements in connection with an unregistered offering of securities.
AriseBank, et al. Jared Rice Sr. PlexCorps, et al. The Commission filed a district court action and obtained an emergency asset freeze against a recidivist Quebec securities law violator, Dominic Lacroix, and his company, PlexCorps. The Commission charged Maksim Zaslavskiy and his two companies for allegedly defrauding investors in a pair of so-called initial coin offerings ICOs purportedly backed by investments in real estate and diamonds Recoin Group Foundation and Diamond Reserve Club.
Renwick Haddow, et al. The Commission filed a district court action and obtained an emergency asset freeze against Renwick Haddow, the founder of a purported Bitcoin holding-and-trading platform and a chain of co-working spaces, alleging that he defrauded investors in both companies while also hiding his connection given his past disciplinary history with U.
The Commission filed a settled administrative proceeding against SecondMarket, Inc. Each agreed to settle charges that they respectively violated Rules and of Regulation M under the Securities Exchange Act of in connection with their purchases of BIT shares during a continuous distribution. Garza, et al. In June , the SEC filed a settled administrative action against 2 entrepreneurs who offered and sold security-based swaps through a website called Sand Hill exchange and sought people to fund accounts at Sand Hill using dollars or bitcoins.
Kliushin, et al. The Commission charged five Russian nationals for engaging in a multi-year scheme to profit from stolen corporate earnings announcements obtained by hacking into the systems of two U. The filing agents assist publicly traded companies with the preparation and filing of periodic reports with the SEC, including quarterly reports containing earnings information.
Watson, et al. Ieremenko, et al. The Commission filed a district court action alleging that Ieremenko, working with others, hacked into the SEC's EDGAR system and extracted test files containing nonpublic information about upcoming quarterly earnings announcement to use for illegal trading. Hong, et al. Overseas traders allegedly hacked into two U. Zavodchiko, et al.
Dubovoy, et al. Giltman The Commission charged Allen C. Giltman, a former registered investment professional, with allegedly participating in a long-running fraudulent scheme to lure investors into buying fictitious certificates of deposit CDs. Gallagher The Commission filed an emergency action, and obtained an injunction and asset freeze, against Steven M. Gallagher for allegedly committing securities fraud through a long running scheme to manipulate stocks using Twitter.
Melnick The Commission charged Mark Melnick, the host of a stock trading webcast, for spreading more than false rumors about public companies in order to generate illicit profits. Trovias The Commission charged Apostolos Trovias, a Greek national, with perpetrating a fraudulent scheme to sell what he called "insider trading tips" on the Dark Web.
The dark web allows users to access the internet anonymously and, as such, has often been used to host websites and marketplaces that support or promote illegal activity. Fassari The Commission filed fraud charges and obtained an asset freeze and other emergency relief against an Irvine, California-based trader who used social media to spread false information about a defunct company, while secretly profiting by selling his own holdings of the company's stock.
Ross The Commission filed charges against Barton S. Ross for his role in a market manipulation scheme in which he and several other individuals created false rumors about public companies in order to profitably trade around the temporary price increases caused by the publication of the rumors.
Sotnikov, et al. The Commission filed charges against a Russian national and entities he controlled for allegedly participating in a fraudulent scheme to lure U. Burns U. Murray U. The Commission sanctioned eight firms in three actions for failures in their cybersecurity policies and procedures that resulted in email account takeovers exposing the personal information of thousands of customers and clients at each firm. All were Commission-registered as broker dealers, investment advisory firms, or both.
GWFS provides services to employer-sponsored retirement plans. SCI, and Section 19 b 1 of the Exchange Act and Rule 19b-4 c thereunder as a result of its failures to establish and enforce policies and procedures involving financial risk management, operational requirements and information-systems security and changing of policies on core risk management issues without obtaining the required SEC approval.
Failure to safeguard customer data from cyber-breaches in violation of Reg S-P as a result of an investment adviser's storage of sensitive customer information on a third-party hosted web server that was eventually hacked and its failure to adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to safeguard such customer information. Public Company Disclosure and Controls Action Name Description Date Filed Pearson plc The Commission filed settled charges against Pearson plc, a London-based public company that provides educational publishing and other services to schools and universities.
The Report discusses a type of cyber-fraud -- called "business email compromise" -- where perpetrators pretended in emails to be high-level company executives or vendors, and then convinced company personnel to transmit large wire transfers to accounts controlled by the perpetrators. The Report explains that public companies should consider cyber threats when implementing internal accounting controls.
Failure to disclose December data breach in which Russian hackers stole personal data related to more than million Yahoo! The Commission revoked registration of the securities of Long Blockchain Corp.
The Commission suspended trading in this publicly-traded company because of concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information about the company, including certain statements regarding enhancing a subsidiary with blockchain technology. The Commission suspended trading in this publicly-traded company because of concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace including in press releases issued.
The Commission suspended trading in this publicly-traded company because of questions regarding the accuracy of assertions concerning business plans in the telecommunications industry and plans for an ICO. Service may continue up to eighteen additional months past term expiration. The president also designates one of the commissioners as chairman, the SEC's top executive.
However, the president does not possess the power to fire the appointed Commissioners, a provision that was made to ensure the independence of the SEC. This issue arose during the presidential election in connection with the ensuing financial crises. Within the SEC, there are five divisions. Headquartered in Washington, D.
The SEC's divisions are: . Corporation Finance is the division that oversees the disclosure made by public companies , as well as the registration of transactions, such as mergers, made by companies. This division also interprets proposed changes to regulations and monitors operations of the industry.
Individuals trading securities must pass exams administered by FINRA to become registered representatives. The Investment Management Division oversees registered investment companies, which include mutual funds , as well as registered investment advisors. These entities are subject to extensive regulation under various federal securities laws.
This division's responsibilities include: . The Enforcement Division investigates violations of the securities laws and regulations to bring legal actions against alleged violators. It is the largest division in terms of both headcount and budget, and its resources have been increased by more than half since the financial crisis of — District Court , or an administrative proceeding which is heard by an independent administrative law judge ALJ.
The SEC does not have criminal authority but may refer matters to state and federal prosecutors. The Division is involved across the entire range of SEC activities, including policy-making, rule-making, enforcement, and examination. As the agency's "think tank," DERA relies on a variety of academic disciplines, quantitative and non-quantitative approaches, and knowledge of market institutions and practices to help the Commission approach complex matters in a fresh light.
DERA also assists in the commission's efforts to identify, analyze, and respond to risks and trends, including those associated with new financial products and strategies. Through the range and nature of its activities, DERA serves the critical function of promoting collaborative efforts throughout the agency and breaking through silos that might otherwise limit the impact of the agency's institutional expertise.
Using data, DERA staff create analytic programs designed to detect patterns identifying risks, enabling Commission divisions and offices to deploy scarce resources targeting possible misconduct. There are 11 regional offices throughout the US with the name of the regional director. Each comment in the letter asks the filer to provide additional information, modify their submitted filing, or change the way they disclose in future filings.
The filer must reply to each item in the comment letter. The SEC may then reply back with follow-up comments. In June , the SEC announced that it would publicly post all comment letters, to give investors access to the information in them. An analysis of regulatory filings in May over the prior 12 months indicated, that the SEC had not accomplished what it said it would do.
The analysis found companies that had reported receiving comment letters from the SEC, but only 21 letters for these companies were posted on the SEC's website. John W. White, the head of the Division of Corporation Finance, told the New York Times in "We have now resolved the hurdles of posting the information We expect a significant number of new postings in the coming months.
No-action letters are letters by the SEC staff indicating that the staff will not recommend to the Commission that the SEC undertake enforcement action against a person or company if that entity engages in a particular action. These letters are sent in response to requests made when the legal status of an activity is not clear. These letters are publicly released and increase the body of knowledge on what exactly is and is not allowed.
They represent the staff's interpretations of the securities laws and, while persuasive, are not binding on the courts. One such use, from to , was with the nationally recognized statistical rating organization NRSRO , a credit rating agency that issues credit ratings that the SEC permits other financial firms to use for certain regulatory purposes. The SEC announced on September 17, , strict new rules to prohibit all forms of " naked short selling " as a measure to reduce volatility in turbulent markets.
The SEC investigated cases involving individuals attempting to manipulate the market by passing false rumors about certain financial institutions. The commission has also investigated trading irregularities and abusive short-selling practices. Hedge fund managers, broker-dealers, and institutional investors were also asked to disclose under oath certain information pertaining to their positions in credit default swaps.
The SEC has been criticized "for being too 'tentative and fearful' in confronting wrongdoing on Wall Street ", and for doing "an especially poor job of holding executives accountable". Christopher Cox , the former SEC chairman, has recognized the organization's multiple failures in relation to the Bernard Madoff fraud.
As a result, Cox said that an investigation would ensue into "all staff contact and relationships with the Madoff family and firm, and their impact, if any, on decisions by staff regarding the firm". Approximately 45 percent of institutional investors thought that better oversight by the SEC could have prevented the Madoff fraud. Aguirre , who was terminated in September following his attempt to subpoena Wall Street figure John J. Mack in an insider trading case involving hedge fund Pequot Capital Management ;  Mary Jo White , who later served as chair of the SEC, was at the time representing Morgan Stanley and was involved in this case.
On September 26, , Democratic senator Mark Warner sent a letter to the SEC, asking them to evaluate whether the current disclosure regime was adequate, citing the low number of companies' disclosures to date. In , the Project on Government Oversight , a government watchdog group, sent a letter to Congress criticizing the SEC for failing to implement more than half of the recommendations made to it by its Inspector General. Some of the recommendations included imposing disciplinary action on SEC employees who receive improper gifts or other favors from financial companies, and investigating and reporting the causes of the failures to detect the Madoff ponzi scheme.
Going to the OIG was "well-known to be a career-killer". Because of concerns raised by David P. Williams of the U. Postal Service was brought in to conduct an independent, outside review of Kotz's alleged improper conduct in According to former SEC employee and whistleblower Darcy Flynn, also reported by Taibbi, the agency routinely destroyed thousands of documents related to preliminary investigations of alleged crimes committed by Deutsche Bank , Goldman Sachs , Lehman Brothers , SAC Capital , and other financial companies involved in the Great Recession that the SEC was supposed to have been regulating.
The tradition of destruction began as early as the s. Flynn also described a meeting at the SEC in which top staff discussed refusing to admit the destruction had taken place, because it was possibly illegal. Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley , among others, took note of Flynn's call for protection as a whistleblower, and the story of the agency's document-handling procedures.
The SEC issued a statement defending its procedures. NPR concluded its report:. The debate boils down to this: What does an investigative record mean to Congress? And the courts? Under the law, those investigative records must be kept for 25 years. But federal officials say no judge has ruled that papers related to early-stage SEC inquiries are investigative records. The SEC's inspector general says he's conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations.
The goal of the Working Group is to enhance the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of the financial markets while maintaining investor confidence. The Securities Exchange Act of also gave the SEC the power to regulate the solicitation of proxies, though some of the rules the SEC has since proposed like the universal proxy have been controversial.
It was in charge of reporting to Congress on abuses of monopoly power. The committee was defunded in , but its records are still under seal by order of the SEC. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board MSRB was established in by Congress to develop rules for companies involved in underwriting and trading municipal securities.
Topics the committee may address include trends and developments affecting investors and market participants, the effects of globalization, and changes in the role of technology and service providers. The committee is composed of outside experts, including individuals representing the views of retail and institutional investors, small and large funds, intermediaries, and other market participants.
While most violations of securities laws are enforced by the SEC and the various SROs it monitors, state securities regulators can also enforce statewide securities blue sky laws. National Securities Markets Improvement Act of NSMIA addressed this dual system of federal-state regulation by amending Section 18 of the Act to exempt nationally traded securities from state registration, thereby pre-empting state law in this area. The SEC also works with federal and state law enforcement agencies to carry out actions against actors alleged to be in violation of the securities laws.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Government agency overseeing stock exchanges. For other uses, see Securities and Exchange Commission disambiguation. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D. Gary Gensler , Chairman. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
February Learn how and when to remove this template message. See also: List of members of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Main article: List of members of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wadley San Francisco — Erin Schneider. Main article: List of major SEC enforcement actions — Securities and Exchange Commission. Faculty Scholarship. History Associates. Retrieved April 28, Retrieved March 24, Corporate Finance Institute.
Retrieved April 16, July 7, Retrieved March 1, The Transformation of Wall Street. Kennedy , pp. December 17, Retrieved June 21, Investopedia Inc. May 6, Journal of Business Ethics. ISSN Retrieved June 12, David Kotz". Corporate Counsel. Retrieved May 21, Retrieved December 5, This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
Retrieved October 16, The New York Times. The street. Archived from the original on September 20, Retrieved September 18,
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