As I have consistently stated, the Alabama Securities Commission has done a tremendous job over the past ten years protecting Alabama investors. The following is the second of the three-part series by Dan Lord, who is with the Commission, on the work of this important agency.
The Alabama Securities Commission Forges Another Banner Year For Investor Protection
To add muscle to the fight against financial crimes in Alabama, the ASC supported legislative efforts during last year’s regular session to increase the legal penalties for those convicted of financial fraud. As of August 1, 2009, all fraudulent acts related to the offering and/or sale of securities in Alabama was upgraded from a Class C Felony to a Class B Felony, allowing a more assertive means by which to prosecute financial criminals who prey on the state’s investors.
Of course, investigation and prosecution are not the only two superb aspects of what the Alabama Securities Commission does. An active Education and Public Affairs Division not only gets the word out to state and national media outlets about the agency’s successes in combating financial crimes, but also is actively engaged in an ongoing movement to educate Alabama citizens of all ages and economic backgrounds on the many facets of investing and especially on how to avoid becoming victims of financial fraud. This division helps conceive, develop and implement investor education initiatives that provide all Alabamians, from high school students and working adults to seniors aged 50 and older, the most relevant information available to help them make informed financial decisions. This knowledge leads to the prudent use of their monetary resources, avoiding victimization and achieving the fiscal sophistication required to shield their hard-earned assets and secure a comfortable and stable retirement.
The Commission collaborates with numerous agencies such as the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Jump$tart Coalition, the Investor Protection Trust, the Alabama Department of Senior Services, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and AARP, among others, to deliver insightful personal financial education and outreach. During FY2009, Education and Public Affairs personnel, together with ASC’s education partners, took part in 70 education and fraud prevention events, reaching more than 5,400 citizens throughout Alabama.
Concurrently, the Commission is an active participant in the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection, whose membership consists of 67 state, provincial and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Mexico. ASC Director Borg is a member of the Board of Directors, has held several other officer positions and has served as NASAA President on two occasions, making him one of two individuals to complete a second term in the organization’s 90-plus-year history.
The ASC is especially proud that two of its staff members have received accolades from the international organization for conspicuous service to investors. In November 2005, Dan Lord, Education and Public Affairs Manager, received a Distinguished Service Award for his development and implementation of an outstanding education and information program that promotes investor education and securities fraud prevention to Alabama citizens. In January 2008, NASAA presented Senior Special Agent Ricky Locklar, of the Commission’s Enforcement Division, with its 2008 Enforcement Award for his dedication, expertise and extensive work in securities law enforcement. ASC staff members also participate in special NASAA committees and project groups to develop uniform standards and policy guidelines, programs focusing on financial education, registration/licensing, litigation and enforcement. The Commission’s participation enables it to proactively address the concerns of main street investors and seek a stronger, more comprehensive and efficient approach to financial reform and regulation.
Alabama Securities Commission
April 2, 2010
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