The Securities and Exchange Commission has released some enforcement statistics through July -- 10 month's into the agency's 2006 fiscal year.

According to published reports, the SEC has filed 492 enforcement actions, but expects to see a normal flurry of activity during the final two months of its year. At the current rate, projections are for the SEC to file about 590 cases for the current fiscal year, a drop from the 630 cases filed between Oct. 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2005.

After the decade began with major scandals at Enron and WorldCom, the SEC recorded a record number of enforcement actions -- 679 -- during its 2003 fiscal year. According to USA Today, the reason behind the drop could be that the agency is now focusing on pulling delinquent filers from the public markets.

Beginning in 2005, the SEC became more aggressive about deregistering companies that had become delinquent in making their required quarterly filings with the regulatory agency. That year, the SEC filed 33 such actions; this year, the agency's first under Chairman Christopher Cox, the SEC said that it has already brought 53 actions against delinquent filers.

The SEC employed about 4,000 people as of October 2005, though that number is expected to drop closer to 3,700 by the close of the 2006 fiscal year next month due to budget constraints.

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