Recently, the Ontario Securities Commission released its 2016 Annual Report, including its enforcement statistics for the 2015-16 year. The OSC saw a decrease from 2014-15 in the number of cases assessed (down from 288 to 164), however, the number of such cases transferred to investigation remained relatively steady (down from 37 to 32). Similarly, while there was a decrease in the number of completed investigations (down from 54 to 35), the number of such cases transferred to litigation was somewhat stable (down from 28 to 24).
There was also a decrease in temporary orders issued, with 5 freeze directions obtained, compared to 13 in the previous year. 12 proceedings (concerning 40 respondents) were commenced before the Commission – down from 18 proceedings concerning 55 respondents in the previous year. Quasi criminal statistics remained steady with a slight increase, with 10 proceedings commenced, concerning 12 respondents, as compared to the previous year's 10 proceedings concerning 10 respondents. While executed search warrants were down (from 69 to 52), Criminal Code proceedings doubled from 2 to 4, and the number of respondents increased from 3 to 8.
Concluded hearings and settlements before the Commission were also down (from 31 to 26), however, the breakdown of sanctions remained steady with 53 cease trade orders (down from 58), 54 exemptions removed (steady from 54), 36 director and officer bans (down from 39), and 35 registration restrictions (down from 40). Total monetary awards did in fact increase from $52,970,941 to $59,026,455 (the latter number not including the $164,260,580 that respondents in three settlement agreements undertook to return to investors directly). Reciprocal orders mirroring those in other jurisdictions were up from 12 to 17.
Concluded matters before the courts were up, however (from 5 to 9), with 24.5 months of jail sentences meted out (down from 41), 42 months of conditional sentences (up from nil), $296,000 in fines (up from $10,000), and $335,634 in restitution (down from $4,841,806).