This is hardly news to readers of this blog, but a Washington Post article from last week got some nice quotes from SEC officials giving some details on the pump and dump crackdown:
With a new chairman at its helm, and new chiefs leading the enforcement division, the agency created a 26-person task force in July devoted to rooting out microcap trading abuses. Since then, the agency has opened five or six microcap investigations a month, well above the previous year’s pace, agency officials said. The initiative builds on the efforts of a loosely-knit SEC working group created three years ago.
“For years, we did a number of these cases, but we didn’t attack it with a systematic approach,” said Andrew Ceresney, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division. “We now have people focused on the area full-time for the first time, and by marshalling their expertise, we think we can make a difference.”
And the SEC has stated that they have purposely become more agressive in suspending trading in pump and dumps:
The agency said that going forward it will focus on repeat offenders, who account for a substantial amount of the fraud. It also is aggressively moving to suspend trading when it has reason to suspect misconduct. The agency has issued 90 trading suspensions so far this year, up 35 percent from the same period a year earlier. Most of the suspensions involved microcaps.