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Legislation Introduced to Permit Increased SEC Fines

Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are introducing legislation to strengthen the SEC's ability to seek higher fines for securities laws violations.  The bill would allow the SEC to impose fines of up to $1 million per securities law violation for individuals and up to $10 million per securities law violation for financial firms.  Currently, SEC civil penalties are capped at $150,000 per offense for individuals and $725,000 per offense for firms.  The legislation would also triple the cap on fines for repeat offenders.  SEC Chairman Schapiro had previously requested these statutory reforms in a letter to Senator Reed on November 28, 2011.