On June 2, 2023, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) dismissed 42 administrative enforcement actions and vacated 48 collateral industry bars because its Division of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) staff improperly had access to memoranda prepared to assist SEC Commissioners in deciding those matters.
The SEC investigates potential violations of the federal securities laws and is authorized by law to prosecute civil enforcement actions in its own in-house administrative courts or in federal court. The investigative and prosecutorial responsibilities are carried out by Enforcement staff and are required to be kept separate from the SEC’s in-house adjudication function. However, on April 5, 2022, the SEC issued a statement disclosing that it identified a “control deficiency” in which certain SEC databases improperly allowed Enforcement staff to have access to memoranda prepared by the Office of the General Counsel Adjudication Group (“Adjudication Group”) to advise Commissioners in making decisions in administrative proceedings. Continue Reading SEC Dismisses 42 Enforcement Actions Because of Its Own Internal Control Deficiencies