March 12, 2015 Articles

Investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

A high-level overview the SEC's investigation process.

By John S. Durrant, Adam M. Reich, and Neil J. Schumacher

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strives to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation. To accomplish its mandate, the SEC investigates publicly traded companies and associated individuals suspected of violating federal securities laws. These investigations often lead to enforcement proceedings, with the SEC bringing “hundreds of civil enforcement actions against individuals and companies” annually.

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