State Securities Regulators to Offer Congressional Panel Proposals to Enhance Enforcement of Financial Crimes

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2009) – As Congress continues to consider reforms to the financial services regulatory structure, two state securities regulators will offer the House Financial Services Committee their perspective on the role of state securities regulators and proposals to enhance the states’ ability to pursue and prosecute perpetrators of financial crimes.

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin and Delaware Securities Commissioner James Ropp are scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee on Friday, March 20. The hearing, “Federal and State Enforcement of Financial Consumer and Investor Protection Laws,” will be chaired by Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA).

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Other federal and state regulators and law enforcement officials also are scheduled to testify.

Testifying on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Commissioner Ropp will outline the states’ record of enforcing securities laws and securing tough punishments for those who abuse the trust of Main Street investors. Ropp serves as the chair of NASAA’s Enforcement Section, which coordinates the enforcement efforts of state securities regulators, federal agencies and the self-regulatory organizations in the event of multi-state frauds.

Because they are closest to the investing public, state securities regulators are often first to identify new investment scams and to bring enforcement actions to halt and remedy a wide variety of investment-related violations. “Just one look at our enforcement statistics shows the effectiveness of state securities regulation,” Ropp said. “During our three most recent reporting periods, covering a period between 2004 and 2007, state securities regulators conducted more than 8,300 enforcement actions, which led to $178 million in monetary fines and penalties and more than $1.8 billion ordered returned to investors. And, we are responsible for sending fraudsters away for a total of more than 2,700 years in prison.”

These statistics and additional information on the strong investor protection efforts of state securities regulators are available on the NASAA website.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.

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