Thursday, May 03, 2018 09.04AM / US SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday announced the launch of an additional online search feature that enables investors to research whether the person trying to sell them investments has a judgment or order entered against them in an enforcement action. The new tool is intended to assist the public in making informed investment decisions and avoiding financial fraud.
The SEC Action Lookup for Individuals – or SALI– will help identify registered and unregistered individuals who have been parties to past SEC enforcement actions and against whom federal courts have entered judgments or the SEC has issued orders.
“Our Main Street Investors themselves are a key line of defense in detecting and preventing fraud. One of the SEC’s most important tasks is to arm our investors with the tools necessary to identify potential fraudsters. An important risk factor is whether the person you are dealing with has a disciplinary history with the SEC or other regulators,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “SALI provides Main Street investors with an additional tool they can use to protect themselves from being victims of fraud and other misconduct.”
The new tool’s results are not limited to registered investment professionals, as with many existing online search functions. Instead, SALI allows the public to identify individuals who have settled, defaulted, or contested an enforcement action brought by the SEC, provided that a final judgment or order was entered against them in a federal court or an administrative proceeding.
SALI supplements existing SEC-provided investor education resources available on Investor.gov, including a free investment professional search tool, that provides access to information on investment adviser representatives as well as individuals listed in FINRA’s BrokerCheck system. Investors are encouraged to take advantage of the considerable resources, such as Investor Alerts and Bulletins, planning tools and answers to frequently asked questions, provided by the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy on Investor.gov.
Currently, SALI search results include parties from SEC actions filed between October 1, 2014 and March 31, 2018. The SEC will update the search feature periodically to add parties from newly-filed actions and actions filed prior to October 1, 2014.