The Securities and Exchange Commission's focus on prosecuting high-profile cases and levying stiff penalties set new records in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, with enforcement actions up 9 percent and monetary penalties up 67 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports. The SEC filed 760 enforcement actions, according to the agency’s annual enforcement report, which was made public Tuesday. The $6.44 billion in monetary penalties was the highest amount on record and included a record $4.19 billion in civil penalties and $2.25 billion in the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, about 6 percent less than the year before. The agency imposed more penalties than disgorgements in the last fiscal year, which shows that “the potential consequences of violating the law are significantly greater than the potential rewards,” said Gurbir Grewal, the SEC’s director of enforcement. He added that the SEC ordered more than twice as much in disgorgements as it did in penalties for the five fiscal years before the last one. The SEC’s whistleblower award program also received a record of more than 12,300 tips reporting potential wrongdoing for the fiscal year 2022, surpassing the previous record of 12,210 tips the year before. The cash-for-tips program in fiscal 2022 gave out about $229 million in 103 awards. That made it the second-highest year for both the number of awards and dollar amounts of awards issued.
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