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June 22 decision in Liu v. SEC allows agency to seek monetary relief; major setback to limiting FTC’s authority

By:  John Villafranco

John Villafranco, partner with Kelley Drye LLP

The Supreme Court issued an 8-to-1 decision on June 22 in the highly anticipated case of Liu v. SEC. The opinion, authored by Justice Sotomayor (with Justice Thomas dissenting), holds that a “ disgorgement award that does not exceed a wrongdoer’s net profits and is awarded for victims is equitable relief,” and allows the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek such relief under the Securities Act. 

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