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SEC Enforcement Division Annual Report Emphasizes Continuing Focus on Retail Investors, Individual Accountability, Cyber Misconduct and Digital Assets

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement (Division) recently announced its enforcement-related accomplishments for its fiscal year (FY) 2018, which included 821 enforcement proceedings and orders totaling nearly $4 billion in penalties and disgorgement, of which $794 million was returned to affected investors. The Division’s 2018 Annual Report (Report), its second annual report of this type, provides details of those actions and recoveries. The Report includes a detailed introductory message from Division Co‑Directors Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin; presents data on the Division’s enforcement efforts in FY 2018; and discusses the Division’s implementation of each of its five core principles. This article summarizes the key takeaways from the Report. For coverage of the Division’s 2017 report, see “Securities Docket Webinar Analyzes 2017 SEC Enforcement Activities, Along With Disgorgement and Whistleblower Developments (Part One of Two)” (Feb. 22, 2018); and “SEC Signals Aggressive Stance on Individual Responsibility, Including Potential CCO Liability, in FY 2017 Annual Report” (Dec. 14, 2017).

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