SEC announces reforms after acknowledging missteps



  • The SEC has publicly admitted significant errors in a recent enforcement action, marking a rare occurrence for the high-profile regulatory body.
  • The Commission acknowledged and rectified Misstatements by the SEC’s legal team during a July 28, 2023 hearing.
  • The SEC disclosed that some claims in the proceedings were based on inferences rather than direct evidence, demonstrating a commitment to transparency.


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has publicly admitted to significant errors in a recent enforcement action. The acknowledgment, conveyed through a new filing, underscores the SEC’s commitment to maintaining high standards of accuracy and accountability in its regulatory activities. This admission, especially in a high-profile regulatory body like the SEC, is rare and noteworthy.

During a key hearing on July 28, 2023, misstatements were made by the SEC’s legal team. These inaccuracies, not immediately rectified, were later recognized by the Commission. In its statement, the SEC revealed that some of its claims in the proceedings were based more on inferences drawn from facts rather than on direct evidence. This disclosure represents a significant moment of introspection and transparency for the agency.

Implementing corrective measures

In response to these procedural flaws, the SEC has instituted corrective measures. A critical part of this initiative is the appointment of senior attorneys from the Denver Regional Office for supervisory roles. This move aims to bolster the oversight and expertise within the agency’s enforcement arm. Additionally, an experienced trial attorney from the same office will now lead the litigation team, signaling a recommitment to procedural integrity.

January 2024 will mark the commencement of mandatory training for all Division of Enforcement staff. This training is expected to emphasize the importance of maintaining accuracy and transparency in legal proceedings, along with the necessity of promptly addressing and correcting any missteps. Such a step is crucial for an organization that is the guardian of fair and efficient markets.

SEC rejects sanctions after admitting errors

Despite these admissions, the SEC has maintained that the situation does not warrant sanctions under Rule 11. The agency argues that the errors made do not meet the threshold of misconduct as defined by the rule. Additionally, there is no indication of malice or bad faith from the involved parties. This stance underscores the SEC’s view that while procedural errors occurred, they were not of a nature that would necessitate punitive measures.

The enforcement proceedings in question, initiated in March 2023, were overseen by staff attorney Joseph Watkins. Assisting Watkins were Laurie Abbott, Karaz Zaki, and Mitchell Davidson – a team comprising individuals with extensive experience in the Commission’s Division of Enforcement. This context highlights that the missteps were not due to inexperience but perhaps to other factors in the complexities of enforcement proceedings.

The SEC’s open admission of errors in this enforcement case clearly indicates its commitment to integrity and transparency. By implementing robust corrective measures and training, the Commission aims to prevent the recurrence of such issues and uphold its role as a meticulous and fair regulator in the financial markets. This development is an important reminder of regulatory bodies’ ongoing challenges and responsibilities in maintaining the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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