The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is experimenting with punishments that more closely fit the wrongdoing at issue in a bid to give its enforcement cases more bite, Reuters reported.


Criticized for its traditional practice of a broad ban on wrongdoers breaking securities law again, the SEC is testing injunctions that specifically bar certain behavior, such as giving advice to pension funds or profiting from presenting investment seminars.


In the past year, SEC lawyers have slowly started seeking injunctions that bar defendants from specific types of conduct, even if that conduct is itself legal. They are relying on authority derived from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which makes explicit courts' authority to follow through on the SEC's recommended injunctions.


"We want to use all of the tools available to us to specifically discourage repeat misconduct and go beyond the injunctions we traditionally obtain," George Canellos, the SEC's acting enforcement director, told Reuters in an interview.