The Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED) tracks and records information for SEC enforcement actions filed against public companies traded on major U.S. exchanges and their subsidiaries.

Created by the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business in cooperation with Cornerstone Research, SEED facilitates the analysis and reporting of SEC enforcement actions through regular updates of new filings and settlement information for ongoing enforcement actions. The variables tracked include defendant names and types, violations, venues, and resolutions.

Our goal is to shed light on the SEC’s securities law enforcement decisions.  SEED is the first public database to provide easily searchable and verified data to researchers, counsel, and corporations, as well as regular reports on developments and trends.
-- Professor Stephen Choi, Director of the Pollack Center for Law & Business.

The figure illustrates the number of SEC actions against public companies and subsidiaries in each fiscal year 2013 to 2022.

See color accessible chart. See full text description.

SEC Enforcement Activity: Public Companies and Subsidiaries (November 2022)

Key takeaways from the SEED research report for FY 2022 include:

  • New actions against public companies and subsidiaries increased to 68 actions in FY 2022. This is 28% higher than FY 2021.
  • Issuer Reporting and Disclosure continued to be the most common allegation type in FY 2022, accounting for 38% of actions. This is lower than the 49% share of Issuer Reporting and Disclosure allegations in FY 2021.
  • For the first time since FY 2018, Broker Dealer allegations were the second most common allegation type in SEED, accounting for 24% of FY 2022 actions.
  • SEC monetary settlements in these actions totaled $2.8 billion, $0.9 billion more than in FY 2021 and the largest total in any fiscal year in SEED. The median monetary settlement in FY 2022 was $9 million, the highest median monetary settlement in SEED.
  • The SEC noted cooperation by 63% of public company and subsidiary defendants in actions settled in FY 2022, consistent with the FY 2017–FY 2021 average of 62%.
  • The 16 public company and subsidiary defendants with admissions of guilt in FY 2022 were double the highest number in any prior fiscal year in SEED. All of the 16 public company and subsidiary defendants with admissions of guilt were in actions with Broker Dealer allegations in which defendants admitted to recordkeeping failures. 

Prior SEED and Cornerstone Research Reports 

This project is a collaboration between these organizations:

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