SEC Enforcement Action Targets Real Estate and Highlights the Agency’s Jurisdiction Over Unregistered Sponsors Offering Securities

Investments connected with real estate – primarily commercial real estate – were identified by the SEC Division of Examinations as hard-to-value assets and included in its 2023 examination priorities. A recent cease-and-desist proceeding against an unregistered real estate fund manager demonstrates the SEC’s growing interest in commercial real estate and serves as a timely reminder that the Commission’s reach and powers extend beyond registered managers and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This article summarizes the settlement order and provides insights from industry experts, highlighting the SEC’s growing interest in commercial real estate and emphasizing the importance of disclosure and compliance with securities laws in private fund offerings. For coverage of recent SEC enforcement trends, see “FY 2022 SEC Enforcement Results Reflect Agency’s Aggressive Efforts, Effective Tactics and Target Areas” (Dec. 15, 2022); and “Three SEC Enforcement Actions Illustrate the Increasingly Quantitative Analysis Used to Enforce Rules and Verify Disclosures” (Nov. 17, 2022).

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