Brokers, Compliance

SEC Subpoenas – Tips for Responding

Mark J. Astarita, Esq. is a national securities attorney with over 30 years of experience representing investors, traders, and financial professionals in SEC investigations, administrative proceedings, and court injunctive actions. For a free consultation regarding a securities law issue, email him at

Being served with an SEC subpoena can be a harrowing experience. This is true whether you are a market professional, the CEO of a regulated entity, or an investor. That investigation can have a serious effect on your business, or your career and has the risk of consuming a significant amount of time, and money, even if you have not engaged in any wrongful conduct. How you respond to the initial inquiry, and how you manage the events as the investigation continues often determines the outcome of that investigation.

Sources of SEC Investigations

SEC investigations can begin from a variety of sources, including

  • anonymous tips
  • trading surveillance by the SEC
  • Trading Information from the exchanges, including NASDAQ
  • customer complaints,
  • Referrals from Other Government Entities
  • Whistleblower tips.

Witnesses and even targets, often learn of the investigation by a simple telephone call from an investigator or staff attorney. That telephone call will be followed by a letter, which requests that you voluntarily provide information to the SEC Staff, or by a subpoena, requiring you to produce documents or to appear and give testimony.

All of this requires the assistance of a skilled, knowledgeable securities attorney, as the investigation can lead to civil and criminal charges. For the full analysis of the issues, read Tips for Responding to an SEC Subpoena. If you receive a subpoena, call Mark Astarita, Esq., a national securities lawyer at 212-509-6544 before you respond.


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