Melanie Senter Lubin, Securities Commissioner
Office of the Attorney General, State of Maryland
March 25, 2020

Thank you, Secretary Mnuchin. State securities regulators have been working together closely to provide financial service professionals with the temporary relief needed to withstand challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, while at the same time ensuring that investors are protected from frauds.

At present over 30 states, including the State of Maryland, have taken steps to extend certain deadlines and provide temporary relief from a variety of requirements. Further, because many of us are working remotely, our regulators are reaching out to our registrants to establish lines of communications and to figure out ways to address delays that might be caused by dislocations. Our collective organization, the North American Securities Administrators Association (known as NASAA), has also aided these efforts by drafting a model emergency order for states to use to grant temporary relief from certain registration, filing and form delivery requirements.

While state securities authorities are working to help financial professionals withstand our current difficulties, we remain focused on our mission to protect investors from opportunistic frauds. We are diligently monitoring for fraudulent activities, especially those that arise when the unscrupulous work to monetize fear. Both individual states and NASAA have issued advisories to investors to be on alert for persons soliciting investments in companies offering such things as testing breakthroughs and miracle cures. As always, we recommend that investors perform due diligence on financial professionals by contacting their state securities regulator or searching for the person or firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck service or the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website.

We appreciate the work being done by this Council, and we will continue to do our part to address the current difficulties while advancing the cause of investor protection.