DEFINITION of Civil Money Penalty - CMP

A civil money penalty is a punitive fine imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which holds primary responsibility for enforcing Federal securities laws.

BREAKING DOWN Civil Money Penalty - CMP

Civil money penalties are imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and are not limited to securities-law violations. They are typically equal to the gains made from the activity, and the money from these fines goes back to investors who have been victims of securities law violations.

Currently, the maximum civil monetary penalties in SEC enforcement actions are $181,071 per violation for individuals and $905,353 per violation for entities. If a bill introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators — the Stronger Enforcement of Civil Penalties Act of 2017 — becomes law, then these penalties could increase to $1 million per violation for individuals and $10 million per violation for corporate entities.