Michael Dicke, the new Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office (previously discussed here), says that he expects the SEC will bring an increased number of financial fraud cases against public companies.
“There haven’t been as many financial fraud cases in the last couple years, but I think that’s going to change, because things move in cycles,” Dicke told The Recorder. Dicke stated that financial fraud cases will be the No. 1 priority for the Enforcement division, and that his office is specifically looking at cases in which companies are manipulating their expenses to improve their reported earnings.
Commenting on the fact that certain key vacant positions in his office will not be filled due to budget restraints, Dicke told The Recorder that “[i]t’s a simple proposition: Our budget’s been flat, and you can’t keep the same amount of people with the cost-of-living increases,” Dicke said. “It sucks, because we have a lot of great investigations that we’d like to do, but we’re not able to.”