The Stronger Enforcement Of Civil Penalties Act; A Push For Higher SEC Penalties

In July a Democratic senator and a Republican senator together introduced the Stronger Enforcement of Civil Penalties Act of 2015 (SEC Penalties Act), which would give the SEC the ability to levy much heftier penalties for securities fraud, and against recidivists.  The Act was referred to the Senate Baking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for review and further action.  The proposed SEC Penalties Act would increase the limits on civil monetary penalties and directly link the size of the penalty to the scope of harm and associated investor losses, and substantially increase the penalties for repeat offenders.

Background:  A Trend Towards Increased Enforcement

The SEC Penalties Act continues a trend to deter securities law violations through regulations and stronger enforcement including the SEC Broken Windows policy, increased Dodd-Frank whistleblower activity and reward payments, and increased bad actor prohibitions.  See my prior blog on bad actor prohibitions HERE

The SEC Broken Windows policy is one in which the SEC is