SEC Data Shows Record-Breaking Enforcement Actions and Penalties in Fiscal Year 2022


In early November, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its enforcement results for Fiscal Year 2022. The results reflected a record-breaking year for the agency. The SEC announced that a total of 760 enforcement actions were filed in fiscal year 2022, including 462 new actions. The number of new actions filed in fiscal year 2022 represented a 6.5% increase over fiscal year 2021. The SEC also filed 169 “follow on” administrative proceedings, as well as 129 actions against issuers delinquent in their required filings with the SEC.

With respect to monetary penalties, the SEC recovered a record $6.4 billion in penalties. Total penalties were up from $3.85 billion in fiscal year 2021. Amounts recovered by the SEC included $4.19 billion in civil penalties, a record, and $2.24 billion in disgorgement. 

Notable enforcement actions in 2022 included a $100 million dollar penalty imposed on Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”), the largest penalty ever imposed against an audit firm. The E&Y settlement stemmed from allegations that numerous EY audit professionals had cheated on certain portions of the CPA exam and on various continuing education courses. Other major enforcement actions included the SEC’s charging of Barclay’s PLC and Barclays Bank PLC with illegal over-issuance of securities, resulting in imposition of a $200 million fine. This action spawned a separate, private, class action on behalf of investors seeking to recover investor losses that remains pending. 

The SEC’s fiscal year 2022 enforcement data points to a robust and relentless SEC. Given the increase in enforcement actions in 2022, it is likely that the trend will continue in 2023, providing further protection for investors. 

A detailed breakdown of the SEC’s fiscal year 2022 enforcement data can be found here: https://www.sec.gov/files/fy22-enforcement-statistics.pdf
 

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About Dylan B. Weeks

Dylan B. Weeks is an Associate in Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP's New York office. His practice is focused on securities litigation.

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