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October 2, 2013

SEC Ramps Up Fine Amounts to Deter Misconduct

The Securities and Exchange Commission is ramping up its penalties in an “aggressive” bid to deter misconduct by imposing more punitive sanctions, the agency’s co-chief of enforcement said Tuesday.

“‘Monetary penalties speak very loudly and in a language any potential defendant understands,’ Andrew Ceresney told a legal conference in New York.

Mr. Ceresney, appointed as the SEC’s co-director of enforcement in April by incoming SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, said the agency’s new leadership intends to take a tougher stance on punishing companies and individuals in civil enforcement actions.

“‘There is room for bolder actions,’ he said. ‘Enforcement needs to be aggressive in our use of penalties.’

Mr. Ceresney also rejected concerns by some outsiders that the SEC might be starting to impose excessive fines compared to its historic levels, causing undue harm to the shareholders of the companies concerned.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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