Division of Enforcement 2019 Annual Report

As my firm does not practice in the enforcement arena, it is not an area I always write about, but this year I found a few trends that are interesting.  In particular, just by following published enforcement matters on the SEC’s website, I’ve noticed a large uptick in actions to suspend the trading in, or otherwise take action against, micro- and small-cap companies, especially delinquent filers.  I’ve also noticed a large uptick of actions against smaller public and private companies that use misleading means to raise capital from retail investors, and the concurrent use of unlicensed broker-dealers.  Of course, there have always been a significant number of actions involving cryptocurrencies. In light of my own observations, I decided to review and report on the SEC’s view of its actions.

As an aside, before discussing the report, I note that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has raised concerns about the quality of record keeping and documentation maintained by the