1. Don't make it worse by lying
Columbus, Ohio-based Professional Investment Management repeatedly overstated client assets by at least $750,000 in client statements, and its president and chief compliance officer tried to hide the shortfall from SEC examiners by entering a fake trade in the firm’s records, the SEC said in its May 5 complaint. A judge in the case, which began as a look into custody rule violations, has frozen the firm’s accounts to protect client assets. The SEC also is seeking civil penalties “due to the egregious nature of the defendants’ violations,” it said in the complaint. Find more details on the issue in our recent story.