On August 8th, the Second Circuit issued an opinion authored by U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff, sitting by designation, clarifying the pleading standard for SEC aiding and abetting cases. The SEC alleged defendant aided and abetted an accounting fraud. The district court dismissed the case finding that the SEC failed to adequately plead defendant's "substantial assistance." Reversing, the Second Circuit holds that in SEC enforcement actions the test for substantial assistance is that the aider and abettor in some sort associated himself with the venture, participated in it as something he wished to bring about, and sought by his action to make it succeed. The ruling means that the SEC is not required to plead or prove that an aider and abettor proximately caused the primary securities law violation. SEC v. Apuzzo.