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SEC enforcement actions hit yearly record


WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a record 735 enforcement actions in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the agency said Wednesday.

The SEC said this includes many cases involving highly complex products, transactions and market practices, including those related to the financial crisis as well as insider trading by market professionals.

The SEC said the total included 15 separate actions, naming 17 individuals, involving wrongdoing related to the financial crisis. These individuals included 16 CEOs, chief financial officers and other senior corporate officers. The SEC said it has filed 36 separate actions in financial crisis-related cases against 81 defendants during the past two-and-a-half years.

The SEC also filed 57 insider trading cases in fiscal year 2011, a nearly 8% increase. Other enforcement actions include 89 actions related to financial fraud and issuer disclosure violations. In addition, it brought 136 enforcement actions related to investment advisers and investment programs, among other actions.

The SEC said in its statement that in 2009 and 2010, its enforcement division underwent its most significant reorganization since its establishment in the early 1970s, which included flattening its management structure and revamping the way it handles tips and complaints.

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