SEC Enforcement Director to Step Down by End of Year

Enforcement Director Stephanie Avakian led SEC investigations during the heart of its ICO crackdown.

AccessTimeIconDec 10, 2020 at 6:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:41 a.m. UTC

Stephanie Avakian, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement director who led investigations since 2017, including during the entirety of SEC's initial coin offering (ICO) crackdown, plans to leave the agency this year.

  • SEC said Thursday that Avakian created the Cyber Unit responsible for managing crypto-related securities violations, especially the ICO projects that attempt to raise capital without filing.
  • A CoinDesk review of SEC enforcement filings shows the regulator initiated at least 46 actions against ICOs during Avakian's tenure as director.
  • Avakian took over the Enforcement Division in June 2017. She had previously served as deputy enforcement director from June 2014.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.