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.

SEED Report - Figure 2

See color accessible chart. See full text description.

SEC Enforcement Activity: Public Companies and Subsidiaries (November 2023)

Key takeaways from the SEED research report for FY 2023 include:

  • New actions against public companies and subsidiaries increased to 91 actions in FY 2023. This is 34% higher than FY 2022.
  • Issuer Reporting and Disclosure continued to be the most common allegation type in FY 2023, accounting for 45% of actions. This is higher than the 38% share of Issuer Reporting and Disclosure allegations in FY 2022.
  • Broker Dealer allegations continued to be the second most common allegation type in SEED, accounting for 19% of FY 2023 actions.
  • SEC monetary settlements in these actions totaled $1.3 billion, $1.5 billion less than in FY 2022 and the lowest level in the last eight fiscal years. The median monetary settlement in FY 2023 was $4 million, consistent with the average median for FY 2014–FY 2022.
  • The SEC noted cooperation by 69% of public company and subsidiary defendants in actions settled in FY 2023, the third highest of any fiscal year in SEED.
  • In FY 2023, 16 public company and subsidiary defendants had an admission of guilt, matching the record-high total number of admissions in FY 2022. All but one 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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