SEC Announces Enforcement and Investor Education Initiatives to Protect Teachers and Military Service Members
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C., June 3, 2019 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced two new initiatives that will build on its ongoing efforts to protect retail investors. The Teachers’ Initiative and the Military Service Members’ Initiative will build on the Commission’s past efforts and focus additional enforcement and investor education resources on behalf of teachers, veterans, and active duty military personnel stationed domestically and abroad.
“Teachers, active duty military, and veterans provide tremendous service to our country, often at great personal and financial sacrifice to themselves and their families, yet far too often are targeted and fall victim to securities fraud and other misconduct,” said Chairman Jay Clayton. “These new initiatives reflect the Commission’s dedication to fighting fraud and to educating retail investors. My colleagues and I are particularly focused on ensuring that our teachers, veterans, and active duty military, who often leave financial planning to others, know the financial services they are getting, what they are paying for those financial services, and to call us if something doesn’t seem right.”
The initiatives build upon Chairman Clayton’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable market participants and the SEC Enforcement Division’s long and successful history in pursuing securities fraudsters who target teachers, active military, and veterans. We look forward to continuing to partner with state securities regulators, as well as other state and federal law authorities, on these important initiatives.
The initiatives will increase proactive outreach to these groups to educate them about savings and investment, investment fees and expenses, retirement programs specific to educators and service members, and the red flags of investment fraud. The initiatives will be led by the Enforcement Division’s Retail Strategy Task Force in partnership with the Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. These efforts will build upon the Commission’s existing Teacher Investment Outreach program, led by the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, and the Commission’s longstanding commitment to serving active military and veterans through investor advocacy and outreach (www.sec.gov/spotlight/military.shtml, www.sec.gov/page/spotlight-military-investment-options and www.investor.gov/military).
“The Enforcement Division is committed to fighting for our country’s educators, service members, and veterans, who may be vulnerable to fraud in the securities markets,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Teachers and members of the military community have already made tremendous financial sacrifices for our country and can quickly face financial ruin as the result of securities fraud,” added Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.
“Education is the cornerstone of investor protection, and we have no more important constituents than our teachers and members of the military,” said Lori J. Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. “We look forward to working together to help these important groups make the best investment decisions right for them – and protect themselves from fraud.”
“State securities regulators have long recognized the importance of protecting those who serve our communities and our nation from financial exploitation. These public servants dedicate their professional lives to helping others and they deserve to know that their state and federal governments are working together to provide them the tools and resources necessary to protect their financial future,” said Michael S. Pieciak, President of the North American Securities Administrators Association and Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation.