NERA Consulting announced today that after “reviewing every litigation release and administrative proceeding document published from July 31, 2002 through September 30, 2008,” it has developed a proprietary database of settlements in SEC enforcement actions. Using this data, NERA published a report today offering an overview of trends in the number of settlements and settlement values in the six years since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).
Among other things, the report shows that since SOX, the SEC has imposed penalties of $10 million or more against 115 parties, including 14 that were penalized at least $100 million. The report also states that since July 31, 2002 there have been 704 settlements in federal court with companies and 2,218 settlements in federal court with individuals.
NERA reports that for the calendar year 2008, the SEC is on pace to reach 739 settlements in federal court and administrative proceedings, which would be the second straight year of increases after three years of steady decline from 898 in 2003 to 663 in 2006. NERA states that “this increase is being driven by settlements with individuals, which are on pace to total 568 for the year. Company settlements, on the other hand, are on pace to total only 171, which would be the lowest number in any full year since SOX.”