Enforcement Cooperation Program

The SEC Enforcement Division’s Cooperation Program is a series of measures designed to encourage greater cooperation by individuals and companies in SEC investigations and enforcement actions. The program provides incentives to individuals and companies who come forward and provide valuable information to SEC investigators. The SEC uses an analytical framework to evaluate whether, how much, and in what manner to credit the cooperation by individuals and companies in its investigations and enforcement actions.

The Benefits of Cooperation

There is a wide spectrum of tools available to the Commission and its staff for facilitating and rewarding cooperation by individuals and entities. These agreements under the cooperation program can range from reduced charges and sanctions in enforcement actions to taking no enforcement action at all.

Cooperation by individuals and entities in SEC investigations and related enforcement actions can contribute significantly to the success of the agency’s mission. Information obtained from cooperators helps detect violations of the federal securities laws, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of SEC investigations, and provide important evidence necessary to take enforcement actions. The program gives SEC investigators access to high-quality, firsthand evidence, resulting in stronger cases that can shut down fraudulent schemes earlier than otherwise would be possible.

SEC Cases Utilizing Cooperation Tools

The SEC’s cooperation program has proven valuable in a wide range of cases spanning the full spectrum of its enforcement program from insider trading and market manipulation to FCPA violations and financial fraud. Here are some examples:

Cooperation Agreements

Formal written agreements in which the Enforcement Division agrees to recommend to the Commission that a cooperator receive credit for cooperating in investigations or related enforcement actions if the cooperator provides substantial assistance such as full and truthful information and testimony.

Deferred Prosecution Agreements

Formal written agreements in which the Commission agrees to forego an enforcement action against a cooperator if the individual or company agrees to cooperate fully and truthfully and comply with express prohibitions and undertakings during a period of deferred prosecution.

Non-Prosecution Agreements

Formal written agreements entered into under limited and appropriate circumstances in which the Commission agrees not to pursue an enforcement action against a cooperator if the individual or company agrees to cooperate fully and truthfully and comply with express undertakings.

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