The federal Securities and Exchange Commission oversees the nation’s securities markets. It is well-funded and has the resources aggressively to investigate and enforce alleged violations of the numerous and complex securities laws and regulations. It has offices around the country including Denver.
Investigations typically start with a letter requesting documents and other information, or (eventually) a subpoena compelling the production of that material and possibly testimony. Subpoenas can also go out to third-parties, like accountants, former employees, customers and others who may have relevant information.
As with most government regulators, the SEC should not be considered merely a neutral fact-finder as it also has enforcement powers – including for example fines, the payback of monies, and far-reaching injunctive relief.
Though typically civil in nature, SEC proceedings can lead to criminal charges at the state and federal level. The SEC usually gets involved by way of a referral from another law enforcement agency, a tip from some other person, computer-monitored trading practices, and even media reports. Most cases with the SEC are settled. However, the closing of an SEC investigation does not in itself preclude the possibility of other civil or criminal actions by other state or federal agencies.
Responding to SEC (and most any regulator) investigations and related proceedings requires a prompt, careful and global strategy. Experienced, reliable and responsive legal counsel can make a huge difference. Count on Sanderson Law, P.C., 303-444-8846, to help.