Does the SEC pad annual enforcement statistics?
The way the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission counts enforcement actions and penalties for annual statistics is flawed and masks problems and trends, according to a study slated to be published in the Cornell Law Review.
The study was conducted by Urska Velikonja, an Emory University School of Law professor, Reuters reports. Her work found that the SEC double-counts cases and overstates enforcement output.
The study also notes that the agency has increased filings in “easy-to-bring delinquent filing cases,” where companies don’t file timely financial reports.
Andrew Ceresney, the SEC’s enforcement director, disagrees with many of the study’s findings, Reuters reports. A copy of the study can be found here.
“We have consistently and transparently reported our enforcement numbers for years, but as we have emphasized, first and foremost is the quality of our cases, which span the securities industry, include first-of-their kind actions, aggressive use of industry and other types of bars, and demonstrate successful pursuit of wrongdoers,” he said in a statement.