That is pretty spot on. As a victim of a pump & dump scam along with 5,700 others I closely followed the initial investigation upon hearing of it and tracked its progress for over 6 years. The SEC works in conjunction with the FBI & others when it suspects criminality and the case gets turned over to the DOJ for prosecution. The major fault in the system is how they qualify criminal acts and then how many low roads the defendants get to take 'till the Govt. finally decides to prosecute them. The " civil " SEC sanctions are often times where the system is flawed. ALL pump and dumps, market manipulation & false announcements would be considered criminal under all our state laws. IE: Conspiracy, Scheme to defraud and Grand Larceny along with options for numerous other charges. Not with the federal system however.
In my case one of the SEC investigators who is an enforcement attorney worked in conjunction with a DOJ prosecutor and both prosecuted the case. Before a " main " player & now former attorney finally got convicted and sent to prison he had a decade long history of reported suspicious activity and was even written up in the " Times " years before his arrest.
Corner is right but our system basically sucks and encourages stock fraud in its many forms in so many ways.