SEC assessed record fines in fiscal 2022

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission assessed a record $6.4 billion in fines and ill-gotten gains as the pace of enforcement accelerated in fiscal year 2022, the agency said in an annual report.

The total assessed included a record $4.2 billion in civil penalties, up from a total of $3.6 billion in 2021 as it filed a total of 760 enforcement actions, including 462 new or standalone.

“While we set a record last fiscal year with the Commission for total money ordered of $6.4 billion, including a record $4.2 billion in fines, we do not expect to break these records and any establish new ones every year, because we expect behavior to change.” said Gurbir Grewal, director of the enforcement department.

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The SEC chairman previously disclosed the amount of fines and fees imposed, but the annual report gave more details in its summary of activities for the year ended Sept. 30.

SEC Actions against JP Morgan Securities LLC, 15 other broker-dealers and one investment advisor for widespread and long-standing failures to maintain and preserve work-related text messages on employees’ personal devices, accounting for more than $1.2 billion in SEC fines in 2022. The warrants include admissions of the wrongful conduct and admissions of wrongdoing from all 17 firms.

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The SEC also filed charges against Deloitte’s China-based subsidiary for failing to meet US audit requirements and secured a record fine against crypto firm BlockFi for selling unregistered securities.

Disgorgement, $2.245 billion, was down 6% from 2021.

The SEC gave $229 million to 103 whistleblowers. That was the second-highest year in terms of dollar amounts and number of awards issued by the agency, with fiscal 2021 being a record year, with $564 million in awards for 108 whistleblowers.

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