Senate Democrats demanded that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) do more to protect investors.

Sens. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinListen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race MORE (D-Mich.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings Senate Democrats demand Trump order review of White House security clearances Overnight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador MORE (D-R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Manufacturing shrinks, raising questions for Trump Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties MORE (D-Mass.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Energy: Trump sparks new fight over endangered species protections | States sue over repeal of Obama power plant rules | Interior changes rules for ethics watchdogs To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies Democrats, environmentalists blast Trump rollback of endangered species protections MORE (D-Mass.) sent a letter on Tuesday to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, asking her to implement safeguards to protect investors from fraud and abuse in private securities offerings.


“We urge you to act promptly to finalize and strengthen investor protections for private securities offerings that you proposed more than one year ago,” the senators wrote. “We are deeply concerned that, for the last year, the Commission has allowed private securities offerings to take place using general solicitation and advertising without adequate investor protections.”

Last year, the SEC issued a rule allowing general solicitation and advertising of certain private securities offerings. Issuers can use highway billboards, Internet ads, telemarketing to seniors and even T-shirts to market securities to investors. The senators said they were concerned that some are being targeted without the knowledge or disclosure of risks.

“A wave of fraudulent schemes could hurt confidence in the integrity of our markets broadly, and unfortunately, today, investors are unnecessarily exposed to undue risks of fraud and financial loss,” the letter stated. “It is vital that prompt action be taken.”

The senators recommended that the SEC require solicitors to disclose any solicitation materials they use to lure investors and to register before being allowed to solicit investors.