The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the launch of a new, online search feature that enables investors to research whether the person trying to sell them investments has a judgment or order entered against him in an enforcement action.
The database is intended to assist the public in making informed investment decisions and avoiding financial fraud.
The SEC Action Lookup for Individuals (or SALI), announced on May 2, is intended to help identify registered and unregistered individuals who have been parties to past enforcement actions and against whom federal courts have entered judgments or the Commission has issued orders.
“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,” Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement. “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 is the case 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, which provides access to information on investment adviser representatives as well as individuals listed in FINRA’s BrokerCheck system.
Currently, SALI search results include parties from SEC actions filed between Oct. 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 Oct. 1, 2014.