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NCJ Number: 64869 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SECURITIES - ATTORNEYS GENERAL ENFORCEMENT OF BLUE SKY LAWS
Author(s): S M MATCHETT
Corporate Author: National Assoc of Attorneys General
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: National Assoc of Attorneys General
Washington, DC 20001
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-TA-AX-0028
Sale Source: National Assoc of Attorneys General
444 North Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20001
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPORT FOCUSES ON THE ROLE OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL'S OFFICES IN SECURITIES REGULATION AND DISCUSSES THE USE OF SECURITIES LAWS IN ECONOMIC CRIME CASES.
Abstract: THE IDEA OF USING SECURITIES LAWS IN CONSUMER FRAUD CASES DATES BACK TO THE ORIGINAL IMPETUS FOR ENACTING THE STATE SECURITIES ACTS, KNOWN AS 'BLUE SKY' LAWS. THESE LAWS WERE ENACTED PRIMARILY TO GIVE INVESTORS ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND TO REGULATE AND PROVIDE REMEDIES AGAINST SELLING OF FRAUDULENT INVESTMENTS BY ENTREPRENEURS. ALL 50 STATES, GUAM, AND PUERTO RICO HAVE ENACTED LAWS REGULATING THE SALE OF SECURITIES. FOR THIS INVESTIGATION, DATA WERE GATHERED ON THE ACTIVITY OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL IN THE SECURITIES FIELD BY MEANS OF A QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO ATTORNEYS GENERAL'S STAFF MEMBERS WHO WORK IN CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE 50 STATES AND 4 TERRITORIES. REPLIES WERE RECEIVED FROM 35 JURISDICTIONS. THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE SECURITIES ACT BY ATTORNEYS GENERAL IS A FUNCTION OF TWO FACTORS: THEIR STATUTORY POWERS AND STAFF RESOURCES. SURVEY FINDINGS REVEAL THAT OF THE 35 JURISDICTIONS RESPONDING TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE, 31 AUTHORIZE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS ONE OF THE STATE OFFICIALS TO ENFORCE SECURITIES ACTS; 20 AUTHORIZE A STATE AGENCY TO INITIATE ACTION; 23 AUTHORIZE LOCAL PROSECUTORS TO BRING SECURITY ACTIONS; AND 21 ALLOW FOR A PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION. STATE ACTS GENERALLY INCORPORATE ENFORCEMENT POWERS FROM AMONG FOUR BASIC CATEGORIES: (1) INJUNCTIONS, (2) CRIMINAL PENALTIES, (3) CIVIL LIABILITIES, AND (4) ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES--HEARINGS, LICENSE REVOCATIONS, AND REFUSAL TO REGISTER A SECURITY. GUAM, PUERTO RICO, THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, AND 49 STATES HAVE ENACTED UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACTS. FURTHERMORE, VARIOUS STATES HAVE ENACTED LEGISLATION ORIENTED TOWARD SPECIFIC CONSUMER PROBLEMS, THESE INCLUDE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES ACTS, FRANCHISE INVESTMENT PROTECTION ACTS, AND ODOMETER ROLLBACK LEGISLATION. SOURCES WHICH PROVIDE NOTICE OF POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF 'BLUE SKY' LAWS INCLUDE COMPLAINTS FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC, INVESTOR COMPLAINTS, AND MEDIA SURVEILLANCE. THE REPORT ALSO DISCUSSES THE RELATIONSHIP OF STATE SECURITIES STATUTES TO FEDERAL ACTS, PROBLEMS IN ENFORCING THE STATUTES, AND AGENCIES INVOLVED IN ENFORCING THE STATUTES. TABLES, FOOTNOTES, AND A CHECKLIST OF AGENCIES WITH AVAILABLE INFORMATION OR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE ARE PROVIDED. (PRG)
Index Term(s): Attorney General; Consumer protection; Federal regulations; Laws and Statutes; Securities fraud; Security codes and ordinances; State laws
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