On December 1st, the SEC announced that it has updated its list of unregistered entities that use inaccurate data to solicit mainly non-US investors, adding 82 soliciting entities, eight impersonators of real firms, and one bogus regulator.
By revising the list of soliciting entities that have been the subject of investor complaints (referred to as the Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list), the SEC can provide to the public information learned through reviewing tips, referrals, complaints, and other sources, so retail investors may be cautioned about potential fraud before they invest. The PAUSE list also identifies bogus regulators who falsely claim to be government agencies or affiliates and those impersonating registered securities firms. If an entity is placed on the PAUSE list, it does not mean the SEC has made decisions about the merits of any securities being offered, or that it has found violations of US federal securities laws.
The latest additions are entities that SEC staff determined were using inaccurate data about their affiliation, registration, or location. In accordance with US securities laws, firms that solicit investors generally must register with the SEC and meet certain financial standards, as well as disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.
The SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, in coordination with the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Office of International Affairs, periodically updates the PAUSE list. The SEC also recommends the following helpful articles on investor.gov that may protect investors from fraud: