SEC Updates List of Firms Using Inaccurate Information to Solicit Investors
Enhanced Website Improves Main Street Investor Experience
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C., Feb. 24, 2020 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it updated its Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list by adding 25 soliciting entities and four fictitious regulators. Additionally, the SEC is announcing enhancements to the PAUSE website, where the SEC provides the list of entities that falsely claim to be registered, licensed, and/or located in the United States, as well as entities that impersonate genuine U.S. registered securities firms and fictitious regulators, governmental agencies, or international organizations. This will allow Main Street investors to better inform themselves and avoid being victims of fraud.
The entities on the PAUSE list have been the subject of investor complaints. The latest additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location, or registration to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors. Under U.S. securities laws, firms that solicit investors generally are required to register with the SEC and meet minimum financial standards and disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.
“Today’s updates to the PAUSE list reflect one way the Commission uses tips and complaints to protect and inform Main Street investors,” said Jennifer Diamantis, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Office of Market Intelligence. “The new enhancements to the PAUSE website will allow investors easy access to resources to help protect their investments and avoid fraud.”
The enhanced PAUSE website is now more streamlined and user-friendly with revised descriptions, relevant educational material, and new search capabilities. Furthermore, the new layout allows investors using internet search engines to easily find the Public Alerts.
In addition to alerting investors to firms falsely claiming to be registered, the PAUSE list flags those impersonating registered securities firms and fictitious “regulators” who falsely claim to be government agencies or affiliates. Inclusion on the PAUSE list does not mean the SEC has found violations of U.S. federal securities laws or made a judgment about the merits of any securities being offered.
The PAUSE list is periodically updated by the Office of Market Intelligence in coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs.