US Govt shutdown leaves state securities regulators unaffected

Maria Nikolova

The North American Securities Administrators Association reminds the public that state securities regulators are available to provide information and assistance to investors.

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) on Monday reminded investors that state securities regulators are unaffected by the partial shutdown of the federal government and are available to provide information and assistance.

Michael Pieciak, NASAA President and Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, explained that state securities regulators have oversight of nearly two-thirds of all investment adviser firms, as well as all investment adviser representatives.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has operated on a limited basis since December 28, 2018 due to the partial closure of the federal government. According to the SEC’s website, the agency is operating with a “very limited” number of staff but does have staffing available to respond to “emergency situations involving market integrity and investor protection, including law enforcement.”

“Our important work continues, and we are also happy to assist the SEC while it operates with limited staffing as a result of the partial federal government shutdown,” he added.

Let’s mention some of the initiatives for tackling investment scams that NASAA has undertaken recently. In 2018, the efforts to put an end to cryptocurrency fraud accelerated. One of the results of these efforts is “Operation Cryptosweep”. In an announcement published in late August 2018, NASAA said that over 200 active investigations of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products were underway by regulators in the United States and Canada as part of “Operation Cryptosweep.” Since its launch in May, this campaign has led to 47 enforcement actions involving ICOs or cryptocurrency-related investment products. In the end of May, the number of such actions was 35.

The US Government shutdown has also affected the operations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which has sought a stay of a number of enforcement actions it has launched against investment scammers. The government shutdown has also prompted further stay of “spoofing” cases.

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