The Division of Securities has an Enforcement Bureau whose primary purpose is to enforce the Wisconsin Uniform Securities Law, Wis. Stat. ch. 551
and the Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law, Wis. Stat. ch. 553
by investigating possible violations of those laws and proceeding with administrative action when warranted. The staff responds to inquiries from the public but also initiates its own investigations. The Enforcement Bureau has authority to investigate activities originating inside as well as outside of Wisconsin, whether involving registered or unregistered persons or entities. All registered firms and individuals are subject to certain ethical and industry standards, and must comply with both federal and state laws and regulations. The division’s staff has the authority to examine the books and records of any securities registrant and to subpoena witnesses (whether or not a registrant) and records.
The staff works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement and other administrative agencies. In doing so, it relies on the cooperation and input of the investing public. The Enforcement Bureau consists of attorneys and investigators trained to handle the complex issues encountered in securities and franchise matters.
Although the Bureau cannot act as a private attorney for investors, it does, through the investigation of complaints, seek to end violation of the securities and franchise laws and prevent future violations by means of administrative actions. The Bureau also makes referrals to criminal enforcement agencies when appropriate.