USA—Benefits of co-operating with the SEC

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • USA—Benefits of co-operating with the SEC
  • SEC Enforcement Cooperation Program
  • Co-operation by individuals
  • Co-operation by firms
  • Co-operation tools
  • SEC co-operation in practice
  • Benefits for co-operators

USA—Benefits of co-operating with the SEC

SEC Enforcement Cooperation Program

In January 2010, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a series of measures aimed at strengthening its enforcement program by encouraging greater co-operation from individuals and companies in the agency's investigations and enforcement actions. The resulting 'Enforcement Cooperation Program' provides the SEC with a framework to evaluate whether, how much, and in what manner to credit co-operation by individuals and/or firms in investigations and enforcement actions.

The SEC has acknowledged that there is an inherent tension between holding firms and individuals accountable for their actions on the one hand, and providing incentives for coming forward to report issues and co-operate with the SEC in investigating such matters, on the other. Accordingly, in January 2010 a policy statement was published to address the matter. This Practice Note considers how the SEC has advised firms and individuals to deal with it in its investigations in order to benefit from co-operating.

Co-operation by individuals

The SEC assesses the assistance provided by the co-operating individual in the investigation by considering, among other things:

  1. Value—the value of the individual's co-operation to the investigation including, but not limited to:

    1. whether the individual's co-operation resulted in substantial assistance to the co-operation

    2. the timeliness of the individual's co-operation, including whether the individual was first to report the issue and whether the individual had any notice

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