SEC forms office to dole out billions to wronged investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission today created a new division designed to get the more than $5 billion in recovered money to wronged investors faster.

The Office of Collections and Distributions is intended to further expedite the return of more than $5 billion in so-called Fair Funds to harmed investors, while cutting red tape and the costs of the distributions, the SEC said.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by Congress in 2002 for the first time gave the SEC authority to distribute financial penalties paid by securities law violators directly to injured investors.

Using this authority, the SEC already has distributed more than $3.5 billion.

“The Commission’s strong commitment to recovering money from wrongdoers and returning it to investors is amply demonstrated by the more than $2 billion we distributed last year,” said Chairman Christopher Cox.

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