Increase in Enforcement Actions Filed by the SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its latest report showing a three percent increase in the number of enforcement actions filed in the fiscal year 2023 (FY2023) compared to the previous year.

Several of these enforcement actions targeted prominent figures in the cryptocurrency industry, accusing them of various violations from fraud to securities violations.

Financial Remedies and Investor Compensation

In FY 2023, the SEC’s enforcement actions rose to 784, resulting in $4.949 billion in financial remedies. The majority of this amount, around $3.4 billion, constituted disgorgement and prejudgment interest, with civil penalties totaling $1.58 billion.

The SEC reported that the financial remedies ordered in FY 2023 were the second-highest in the agency’s history, and distributed $930 million to affected investors, marking the second consecutive year of distributing over $900 million.

The reporting period also saw an increase in whistleblower awards, with $600 million awarded over the year, including the largest single award of $279 million in the history of the SEC’s program.

SEC’s Focus on the Crypto Industry

The SEC targeted top financial institutions along with the crypto industry, filing charges against and reaching settlements with entities and individuals involved in fraud, securities violations, and unregistered operations. This included well-known figures such as FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange, as well as Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon. Other prominent crypto businesses charged included Kraken, Celsius, and Nexo, with notable lawsuits against Binance, Coinbase, and individuals accused of unlawful touting of cryptocurrency asset securities.

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Despite these actions, the report did not address the SEC’s initial loss in its court case against Ripple.

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By Team