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SEC heightens compliance enforcement of public companies in 2022

Chalon C. Young (ccy@pietragallo.com) is an attorney for Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick & Raspanti LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. She has more than 20 years of experience in both civil and criminal litigation and has represented hundreds of clients in criminal defense cases at the state and federal levels.

With the appointment of Gurbir Grewal as enforcement director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 2022 has, as expected, seen more stringent oversight into public companies. Grewal formerly served as attorney general of New Jersey until 2021. The SEC selected Grewal to be tougher on Wall Street than his predecessors.

Between 2019 and 2021, SEC enforcement actions against public companies dropped by nearly half due to the pandemic and changing leadership. Grewal, along with other top SEC officials, outlined a list of new priorities for the agency, many of which focus on deterrence against corporate misconduct. Five main types of SEC enforcement actions have taken center stage with the new administration and are expected to continue to be top priorities throughout the year and beyond. Here, we examine these five main types of enforcement actions.

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