The new law is contained in 2009 Wisconsin Act 196 (Assembly Bill 529) and became effective May 6, 2010. It provides penalty enhancers applicable to persons who commit violations of the Wisconsin Securities Law involving persons/seniors aged 65 or more. The penalty enhancers are applicable in several contexts: (1) in civil injunctive court proceedings instituted either by the Division, by District Attorneys, or by the Wisconsin Attorney General; (2) in administrative proceedings instituted by the Division of Securities; and (3) in criminal court proceedings.
Under the Act, the penalty that had existed under the Wisconsin Securities Law for each of those situations is basically doubled (or nearly so) when the violation victimizes a person aged 65 or older. The new law also contains a provision that enables the Administrator to seek restitution or disgorgement in connection with administrative proceedings instituted by the Division.
The impetus for penalty enhancers for securities law violations that involve seniors has come from both the state and federal levels.
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