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March 18, 2013

Number of Cases Filed by SEC Slows

The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing significantly fewer civil fraud cases this year, as its efforts to punish misconduct related to the financial crisis start to ebb.

The agency is likely to fall short this fiscal year of its record-breaking number of enforcement actions in the previous two years, said people familiar with the matter.

The expected drop in the numbers could be a headache for Mary Jo White, the former prosecutor nominated by President Barack Obama to be SEC chairman.

A Senate panel is set to approve Ms. White’s appointment on Tuesday, the last step before the full Senate votes on it. Ms. White last week told a Senate hearing she would strengthen the SEC’s enforcement function to ensure “all wrongdoers…will be aggressively and successfully called to account.”

But the new chairman may have to explain later this year how her tough rhetoric dovetails with a fall in the annual level of enforcement actions.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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