Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the launch of a new online tool for investors. The SEC describes this tool as follows:
"The SEC Action Lookup for Individuals – or SALI– will help identify registered and unregistered individuals who have been parties to past SEC enforcement actions and against whom federal courts have entered judgments or the SEC has issued orders."
The idea of keeping a list and checking it twice (or at least once) isn't new to the SEC. For several decades, the SEC published an "Index of Names in Securities Violations Bulletin". This Index was supplemented quarterly by the Securities Violations Bulletin. My understanding is that both state and federal violators were named in these publications.
SALI is limited only to individual names and only covers the period from October 1, 2014 to March 31, 2018.
Long before SALI's birth, the California Department of Business Oversight provided the ability to search online for administrative orders and civil actions. The Department's tool covers different time periods and requires searching through alphabetical lists. A search of the DBO's database is, of course, limited to California violators, but it isn't limited to individuals (as is SALI) and includes violations of financial services laws enforced by the DBO in addition to the Corporate Securities Law of 1968.