On Tuesday, November 14, the SEC announced its enforcement results for the fiscal year of 2023. Here is a summary of the results:
- 784 total enforcement actions in fiscal year 2023, a 3 percent increase over the prior fiscal year;
- 501 original, or “stand-alone,” enforcement actions, an 8 percent increase over the prior fiscal year;
- 162 “follow-on” administrative proceedings seeking to bar or suspend individuals from the industry based on criminal convictions, civil injunctions, or other orders;
- 133 orders barring individuals from serving as officers and directors of public companies (highest number of officer and director bars obtained in a decade); and
- 121 actions against issuers who were allegedly delinquent in making required filings with the SEC.
In terms of fines, civil penalties, and financial remedies, in the fiscal year 2023, the SEC obtained the following:
- $4.949 billion in financial remedies (the second highest amount in SEC history);
- the financial remedies included $3.369 billion in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and $1.580 billion in civil penalties (second highest amounts on record); and
- $930 million were distributed to harmed investors over the prior fiscal year (second consecutive year with more than $900 million in distributions).
During the prior fiscal year, we witnessed a record-breaking year for the SEC’s Whistleblower Program. The Whistleblower Program experienced the following:
- $600 million in total issued whistleblower awards (most ever awarded in one year);
- A record-breaking $279 million awarded to one whistleblower;
- Over 18,000 whistleblower tips received over the prior fiscal year (a record number and approximately 50 percent more than the prior fiscal year) ; and
- Over 40,000 tips, complaints, and referrals received over the prior fiscal year.
The SEC continues to demonstrate its effectiveness and ability to hold wrongdoers accountable. “The investing public benefits from the Division of Enforcement’s work as a cop on the beat,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. The numbers do not lie, as the Division of Enforcement continues “leveraging risk-based initiatives, seeking robust remedies, rewarding cooperation, protecting whistleblowers, or returning nearly a billion dollars to harmed investors, the Enforcement Division stood up for the investing public,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the Division of Enforcement. “I am extremely proud of the Division’s efforts… all of which help protect investors, hold bad actors accountable, and promote public trust.”