CD: Could you provide an overview of the current securities and commodities enforcement landscape? What enforcement trends are evident in this space?

Wheeler: After several years of declining enforcement activity, and a substantial drop in 2017, the number of enforcement actions filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) increased significantly in 2018. During the fiscal year ended 30 September 2018, the CFTC filed 83 enforcement actions and imposed civil monetary penalties totalling $897m. Although not at the levels seen in 2011 and 2012, the 2018 numbers dwarf last years’ numbers of 49 actions and $333m in penalties. Continuing a trend from last year, charges of retail fraud and manipulative conduct make up the largest categories of enforcement actions. There are significantly fewer charges of reporting and recordkeeping violations. The increase in enforcement activity at the CFTC is consistent with increases in activity at other commodity regulators, such as the National Futures Association and the CME Group. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saw only a modest increase in enforcement actions in fiscal year 2018. The number of enforcement actions increased from 754 actions in 2017 to 821 actions in 2018. The largest categories of enforcement actions are cases involving securities offerings and investment advisory issues – both of which increased significantly from the prior year.

Jan-Mar 2019 issue

Foley & Lardner LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP

Seward & Kissel LLP