A big year for disgorgement helped the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to its second highest total of financial remedies ordered in a single year in fiscal year 2023.
The agency’s FY23 enforcement results, released Tuesday, noted it obtained orders for nearly $5 billion in financial remedies during the year, which ended Sept. 30. The total fell short of the record $6.4 billion in enforcement penalties, fees, and interest the SEC collected in FY22.
Unlike FY22’s totals, which were driven largely by a record $4.2 billion in civil penalties, the SEC relied more on disgorgement and prejudgment interest for its enforcement success in FY23. Financial remedies comprised nearly $3.4 billion in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and nearly $1.6 billion in civil penalties, both the second highest amounts on record.
The SEC filed 784 total enforcement actions in FY23, a 3 percent increase over FY22. The agency said it obtained orders barring 133 individuals from serving as officers and directors of public companies, the highest such number in a decade.
FY23 was a record year for whistleblower awards at nearly $600 million. Much of that total came in one award: a $279 million payout to an individual announced in May. The SEC said it received more than 18,000 whistleblower tips in FY23, another record shattering the previous mark of 12,300 in FY22.
The agency also noted examples of cases where it rewarded meaningful cooperation by companies. The SEC’s actions against GTT Communications in September and View in July each included a declination of civil penalties for cooperation, while Perella Weinberg Partners received a significantly smaller penalty—$2.5 million—than other firms caught in the agency’s off-channel communications sweep for self-reporting its violations and remediation.
“Whether it was by leveraging risk-based initiatives, seeking robust remedies, rewarding cooperation, protecting whistleblowers, or returning nearly a billion dollars to harmed investors, the Enforcement Division stood up for the investing public (in FY23),” said SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal in the agency’s release. “I am extremely proud of the division’s efforts.”