SEC launches searchable database of targeted fraudsters

SEC launches searchable database of targeted fraudsters
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday launched a searchable database of individuals who have been targeted by the federal watchdog for allegedly breaking trading laws.

The database, called the SEC Action Lookup for Individuals (SALI), allows investors to check whether the person offering them an investment has been penalized for violating securities laws.

The tool is intended to help investors avoid bad actors likely to defraud them, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement.

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"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,” Clayton said.

“SALI provides Main Street investors with an additional tool they can use to protect themselves from being victims of fraud and other misconduct.”

The SEC said the database will include 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.”

The launch of the SEC search feature comes as Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Trump pick to head watchdog agency is who consumers need Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), considers removing from public view a database of complaints lodged with the agency.

Mulvaney, who also serves as the White House budget chief, said last month that the CFPB's public consumer complaint database contained information not vetted by the agency that could be used unfairly against banks and lenders.

“I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government,” Mulvaney said, referring to the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 law that established the bureau.