The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it has updated its list of unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors, adding 16 soliciting entities, four impersonators of genuine firms, and eight bogus regulators. The SEC also made technical updates to its database to make it easier for retail investors to search and obtain information about unregistered entities. The update to the database consolidates the active and archived lists.
The SEC’s list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints, known as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list, enables investors to better inform themselves and avoid being a victim of fraud. The latest additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location, or registration. 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 are part of the agency’s continuing effort to help investors protect themselves and be better informed when making investment decisions,” said Jennifer Diamantis, Chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence.
In addition to alerting investors to firms falsely claiming to be registered, the PAUSE list flags those impersonating registered securities firms and bogus “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 SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence in coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs.
The official announcement can be seen here.