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SEC enforcement division builds on record results

Building on last year’s record results, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed 734 enforcement actions in the fiscal year that ended 30 September 2012, one shy of last year’s record of 735.

Most significantly, that number included an increasing number of cases involving highly complex products, transactions, and practices, including those related to the financial crisis, trading platforms and market structure, and insider trading by market professionals.

Twenty per cent of the actions were filed in investigations designated as national priority cases, representing the division’s most important and complex matters.

The SEC also announced that it obtained orders in fiscal year 2012 requiring the payment of more than USD3bn in penalties and disgorgement for the benefit of harmed investors. It represents an 11 percent increase over the amount ordered last year. In the past two years, the SEC has obtained orders for USD5.9bn in penalties and disgorgement.

“The record of performance is a testament to the professionalism and perseverance of the staff and the innovative reforms put in place over the past few years,” says SEC chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “We’ve now brought more enforcement actions in each of the last two years than ever before including some of the most complex cases we’ve ever seen.”

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