Regulation D Rule 506 Private Offerings
In the most recent survey of state securities regulators, fraudulent private placement offerings were ranked as the most common product or scheme leading to investigations and enforcement actions. These offerings also are commonly referred to as Regulation D Rule 506 offerings (the exemption in federal securities laws that allows private placements to be sold to investors without registration). By definition these are limited investment offerings that are highly illiquid, generally lack transparency and have little regulatory oversight.
While Regulation D Rule 506 offerings are used by many legitimate companies to raise capital, these investment offerings are high-risk and may not be suitable for many individual investors. The 2012 JOBS Act significantly relaxed the restrictions on the manner in which Regulation D Rule 506 offerings can be marketed to the general public, eliminating the previous ban on general solicitations (advertising). Once the rules implementing this change are finalized by the SEC, investors will begin to see a variety of advertisements related to private placement offerings, even though only a very small percentage of the population will be eligible to invest.