House advances investment fraud legislation

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The House of Representatives recently advanced legislation introduced by Reps. Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI) designed to provide federal securities officials with more time to recover ill-gotten gains from white collar criminals.

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The Investor Protection and Capital Markets Fairness Act (H.R. 4344) was approved in the House Financial Services Committee by a bipartisan vote of 49–5.

McAdams said the legislation stems from a 2017 Supreme Court decision that ruled the Security Exchange Commission’s (SEC) authority to get convicted fraud perpetrators to return their ill-gotten gains was subject to a five-year statute of limitations.

“U.S. capital markets are the envy of the world,” McAdams said. “They promote job growth and economic opportunity. But they only work to the extent that investors have faith that bad actors cannot profit off wrongdoing. This legislation extends the time for the Securities and Exchange Commission to get back money from white collar criminals who prey on innocent investors and steal millions to enrich themselves. Those who commit fraud should not profit from their crimes and this bill helps ensure that victims recover what was stolen from them.”

Huizenga said the latest SEC report found more than $900 million in money taken from investors through fraudulent activity is unable to be recovered because of a 2017 Supreme Court decision.

“White collar criminals must be held accountable for their behavior and the SEC must have the necessary tools to recover the losses suffered by Main Street investors,” he said. “H.R. 4344 helps solve this problem by striking a delicate balance that allows the SEC more time to recover the money that was scammed from hard-working Americans. I am glad to see this bipartisan bill pass committee with strong support.”

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