U.S. securities regulators reached 714 settlements with defendants in civil cases in the 2012 fiscal year - the highest number since 2007, a report released on Monday showed.
The biannual report by NERA Economic Consulting found that the overall number of Securities and Exchange Commission settlements increased by 6.6 percent in fiscal 2012 over fiscal 2011.
During that same period, the SEC also saw a big jump in settlements with individuals, which rose 14 percent to 537 from 473, marking the highest level since 2005.
Part of the increase in settlements stems from the SEC's focus on insider-trading cases, which reached a record 118
in fiscal 2012 and included the high-profile $92.8 million civil penalty against Galleon hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.
NERA's latest report on SEC settlement trends comes just a few days after Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami announced he plans to depart the agency after a nearly four-year tenure.
Khuzami was hired
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