We frequently represent individuals who have received an SEC Subpoena, and often the first question asked is, “Why did I get this subpoena? I did nothing wrong.” The SEC investigates many kinds of misconduct, and the people they seek information and documents from (through the use of Subpoenas) very often are not “targets” of the investigation, but the SEC may believe they could be a “witness,” or may have useful information that could aid the investigation. Understanding the common investigations the SEC may commence is a good first step to understanding what prompted the Subpoena.
According to the SEC, the most common types of investigations of potential securities violations include:
- Misrepresentation or omission of important information about securities – when promoting the sale of securities, brokers, broker-dealers and other securities professionals should ensure that promotional materials accurately reflect the characteristics and risks of the securities.