Friday, December 26, 2008

Securities Fraud Prosecutions Lowest since 1991

More troubles for Cox? Since he is gone in a couple of weeks, it probably doesn't matter, but there is a lesson here. Criminal prosecutions for securities fraud are down significantly. 133 prosecutions this year, vs. 437 in 2000, and 513 in 2002.

There are any number of factors that can cause this decline - I suppose it could be due to less actual securities fraud, but I doubt that is the case. More likely is the explanation that since the Justice Department gets is securities fraud cases from the SEC, the new policies at the SEC, which are said to cause a decline in civil enforcement actions, have also led to a decline in criminal prosecutions.

We need to know more about the decline. While the press is using this as a negative, it might actually be a positive. Has the government rooted out the bad cases, and now only bringing the ones that should be brought?

Let's hope that Mary Shapiro doesn't use this statistic to force the Staff to bring more cases, just to get the numbers up.

Securities Docket has more.

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