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The Ontario Securities Commission closed cases against 170 individuals and companies in 2013, up from 100 in 2012, according to its annual enforcement results.

Out of the cases closed, four were dealt with via court proceedings under securities legislation. As a result, OSC sent four people to jail for a total of 63 months, compared to two people for 21 months in 2012.

The rest of 2013’s cases ended with either contested hearings before the Commission (71) or settlement agreements (95).

“We have a responsibility to protect investors and our capital markets,” says Howard Wetston, chair and CEO of OSC, so the commission is dedicated to be delivering more efficient enforcement processes.

During the last year, OSC says it’s also increased the number of sanctions hand down. In 2013, they gave out:

  • 159 cease trade orders (versus 80 in 2012);
  • 67 director and officer bans (versus 49 in 2012);
  • 118 exemption removals (versus 72 in 2012); and
  • 81 registration restrictions (versus 58 in 2012).

For more on regulators’ actions, read:

Further progress

OSC added the Joint Serious Offenses Team (JSOT) in 2013. The group represents a partnership between the OSC, the Ontario Provincial Police Anti Rackets Branch and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Financial Crime program.

The JSOT investigates serious violations of the law using provisions of the Ontario Securities Act or the Criminal Code of Canada, and it includes former police officers, former Crown attorneys and forensic accountants who work closely with police agencies and the Ministry of the Attorney General.

What’s more, progress was made in 2013 on a number of new policy initiatives intended to strengthen the OSC’s enforcement presence. The Commission moved forward with the initiatives, one of which was the increased use of no-contest settlements, on March 11, 2014.

Read:

No need to admit guilt, says OSC

Should you take a no-contest settlement?

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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