The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said its Enforcement Division “remains focused on the rapidly growing crypto-asset securities space.” The securities regulator filed a total of 760 enforcement actions this financial year. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler commented, “I continue to be impressed with our Enforcement Division.”
SEC focuses on enforcement
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its enforcement results for fiscal year 2022 on Tuesday.
During that time, the SEC “filed 760 enforcement actions and recovered a record $6.4 billion fine on behalf of the investing public,” the regulator explained. Total enforcement actions represent a 9% increase year-over-year.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said:
I continue to be impressed with our Enforcement Department… Performance results vary from year to year. What has not changed is the commitment of employees to follow the truth wherever they lead.
The SEC noted that regarding the crypto industry, in May it announced the addition of 20 positions for the Crypto Asset Unit and the Network Unit (formerly known as the Network Unit), increasing nearly double the number of employees of that unit. The agency emphasized:
Enforcement remains focused on the rapidly growing crypto-asset securities space.
The regulator describes employees in the SEC’s Enforcement Division as also continuing to investigate potential crypto-related misconduct, leading to a number of significant enforcement actions. These include charges against Blockfi Lending LLC, charges against 11 individuals for their alleged roles in the Forsage crypto Ponzi scheme, and “insider trading fees” against former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi and his associates.
Gensler is often criticized for its enforcement-focused approach to regulating the crypto industry. Following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, an increasing number of lawmakers are calling for the SEC to tighten oversight of cryptocurrencies. The head of the SEC says the crypto sector is “significantly non-compliant.”
Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) has called on the SEC to take decisive action to regulate the industry. The White House, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Lael Brainard, and several US senators have all called for proper cryptocurrency oversight. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) emphasized that cryptocurrencies need “stronger enforcement,” noting that she will continue to push the SEC to enforce the law.