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Accounting Fraud Targeted

"U.S. securities regulators are turning back toward Main Street, renewing their focus on accounting fraud and other financial-disclosure failings.

"Such cases were long a staple of the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement efforts, leading to more than 25% of civil-enforcement actions filed by the agency in its 2003 to 2005 financial years. The financial crisis shifted attention and money elsewhere. In the year ended last September, accounting fraud and financial-disclosure problems made up just 11% of SEC enforcement actions.

"But as the volume of crisis-related cases ebbs, top SEC officials are expected to announce soon a broad shuffling of resources in the agency's enforcement division that will include an increased focus on accounting fraud, according to people close to the agency.

"The decision to hunt for wrongdoing by Main Street, as well as Wall Street, puts America's corporations in the SEC's cross hairs."

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