The Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) is experimenting with punishments that more closely fit the
wrongdoing at issue in a bid to give its enforcement cases more bite, Reuters
Criticized for its traditional
practice of a broad ban on wrongdoers breaking securities law again, the SEC is
testing injunctions that specifically bar certain behavior, such as giving
advice to pension funds or profiting from presenting investment seminars.
In the past year, SEC lawyers
have slowly started seeking injunctions that bar defendants from specific types
of conduct, even if that conduct is itself legal. They are relying on authority
derived from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which makes explicit courts'
authority to follow through on the SEC's recommended injunctions.
"We want to use all of the tools available
to us to specifically discourage repeat misconduct and go beyond the
injunctions we traditionally obtain," George Canellos, the SEC's acting
enforcement director, told Reuters in an interview.