Temple Law School’s Center for Compliance and Ethics played host to a gathering of compliance officers, private practitioners, and in-house counsel at a roundtable with SEC leadership Stephanie Avakian LAW ’95, Co-Director of the Division of Enforcement, and Jeffrey Boujoukos LAW ’92, Director of the Philadelphia regional office. On the table for discussion were several topics, including cryptocurrencies and cyber-fraud, their perspective on cooperation credit, and Ponzi schemes. The roundtable took place on October 29, 2019 at the Philadelphia office of Holland and Knight, a member of the Center’s Advisory Board.
Advances in technology informed much of the discussion, from whether a particular cryptocurrency should be considered a security to the use of data analytics to identify and address risk areas. However, Avakian and Boujoukos emphasized that more familiar forms of fraud and traditional Ponzi schemes remained high priorities, and discussed SEC efforts to combat such initiatives, including educational forums for investors, in particular at-risk populations like the elderly.
Also of significant interest was the agency’s take on extending cooperation credit in ongoing investigations. A key component of that analysis, according to Avakian and Boujoukos, is the extent to which such cooperation helped to conserve agency resources during the investigation. Industry participants were also eager to hear about future policy goals and enforcement trends, for which the agency leaders indicated that public resources like the SEC’s Enforcement Manual and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ Risk Alerts were excellent resources.
The roundtable, which was moderated by Temple Law professors Harwell Wells, Jon Smollen, and Tom Lin, is part of the Compliance Center’s commitment to facilitating dialogue between the private and public sectors in advancement of effective, proactive, and sustainable approaches to compliance and ethics challenges.