The Legislature has completed work on reform of state securities laws and has sent the bill to Governor Holden. The legislation, according to Secretary of State Matt Blunt, accomplishes a number of goals. First and foremost, it protects investors from fraud. That protection is achieved in a number of ways. Among them: By doubling the maximum criminal fine for security violations to $1-Million, creating new civil penalties of $10,000 per violation and up to a million dollars for multiple violations, and giving state courts the authority to require wrongdoers to surrender their ill-gotten gains and pay restitution to victims. Representative Richard Byrd of Kirkwood, who sponsored the bill in the House, says state authorities will now be able to better enforce existing laws. The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Holden.
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