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Market Cops Use Fuzzy Math to Show They're Tough, Study Finds

  • U.S. SEC Routinely Double Counts Its Cases, Law Professor Says
  • Agency Seen as Padding Numbers to Bolster Case for Funding

The federal agency that polices public companies’ bookkeeping appears to be doing some fuzzy math of its own.

It’s an open secret that the Securities and Exchange Commission has long rolled out a high number of enforcement actions in September, the last month of its fiscal year, to try to beat the previous year’s tally. That fact isn’t lost on defense attorneys, several of whom said in interviews that the agency is motivated to settle cases as the U.S. calendar moves from summer to fall.