Crackdown on CEOs and Companies for Stock Reporting Failures
In a recent move, the SEC reached 33 settlements with corporate officers, directors, top shareholders, and publicly traded companies for their failures to timely report stock transactions and holdings, as required by federal securities laws and regulations.
The 33 respondents—from Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., to the Royal Bank of Scotland, to 13 individual officers or directors of public companies—paid a total of $2.6 million in penalties. The individual settlements ranged from $25,000 to $150,000. In a release from the Commission, Andrew Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York regional office, remarked that, “The reporting requirements in the federal securities laws are not mere suggestions, they are legal obligations that must be obeyed.”
The settlements resulted from an SEC initiative to enforce reporting requirements under Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and under Section 13(d) or (g) of the Exchange Act. The SEC said that its investigators used quantitative analysis to spot repeat offenders, some of whom had delayed filings by weeks, months, or even years. SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney said that, “Officers, directors, major shareholders, and issuers should all take note: inadvertence is no defense to filing violations, and we will vigorously police these sorts of violations through streamlined actions.”