By Patrica Uceda, Fall 2014 Graduate Research Assistant
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) conducts annual surveys of state regulators’ enforcement data nationwide in order identify trends in securities regulatory issues and investor protection. NASAA compiles the data received from all over the U.S. to get a better understanding of state enforcement efforts for the year. Survey questions include the number of complaints received, the number of investigations the state has conducted, the penalties awarded, number of criminal enforcement actions, and the types of actions brought. NASAA’s key findings for its 2014 report on 2013 data revealed a number of trends that we will be discussing in detail all this week.
To start things off, here is a brief summary of the statistics NASAA’s report found. In 2013 state securities regulators received 9,693 complaints from aggrieved investors and conducted 5,302 investigations. This marks a slight decrease in investigations from 2012, and over 1,000 less than the annual investigations in 2009.
Of these investigations, approximately 2,200 resulted in administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions involving more than 3,000 respondents and defendants. This is also slightly down from the number of enforcement actions by state securities regulators in 2012. Of these 2,200 actions, 1,740 were administrative, 182 were civil actions, and 262 were criminal actions.
Investor relief has also decreased from previous years. The report found that in 2013, states imposed more than $616 million in investor restitution orders and levied fines or penalties and collected costs in excess of $75 million. To compare, in 2012 states imposed $694 million in restitution orders, and in 2010 this number was $14.1 billion.
Overall, the NASAA report found that there was a continued reliance upon state regulators to provide frontline enforcement resources to protect investors against fraud. Stay tuned all week for some more NASAA findings!