5 Top Threats State Securities Regulators Are Watching Now

5 Top Threats State Securities Regulators Are Watching Now

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State securities regulators recovered nearly $1 billion in monetary penalties in 2022, a significant jump from the $458 million in total fines levied in 2021, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association’s just-released 2023 enforcement report, based on 2022 data.

In 2022, state securities regulators investigated 8,538 cases and initiated 1,163 enforcement actions, including 136 criminal actions, 59 civil actions and 825 administrative actions.

State regulators also secured $702 million in restitution and more than $223 million in fines, as well as approximately 5,337 months in prison sentences and 9,520 months of supervised release.

The 8,538 cases represent a sharp increase from the 7,029 cases reported in 2021. Report data also reveals a “significant rise” in the number of investigations involving social media and internet scams in 2022, with 172 cases opened in 2022 compared to 127 cases in 2021.

State securities regulators also reported filing 125 enforcement actions involving investments tied to digital assets, an increase of almost 30% from the previous year, according to the report.

“This data shows that state securities regulators remain vigilant when it comes to protecting investors,” said Claire McHenry, NASAA president and deputy director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, in a statement. “It is critically important that investors feel safe when they are investing their hard-earned money and have trust in the public markets. Our members are on the front lines of this fight, and we will continue to go after bad actors and scammers intent on doing harm to Main Street investors.”

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See the gallery for 5 top threats state securities regulators say they’re watching in 2024.

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