According to Wikiepedia, New York states's Martin Act gives the New York Attorney General far more power to prosecute securities fraud (usually a Federal crime) than most other states.

Does that also mean that New York state courts exercise more jurisdiction over alleged securities fraud than those of most other states, and if so, how?

For instance, what could Eliot Spitzer do in New York courts that he could not have done in some other states?

1 Answer 1


I would personally dispute the claim that the Martin Act's provisions, per se, are an important factor in what makes NY Attorney General prosecutions under the act more potent than in other states. Most state attorneys' general have broad authority under state securities laws, often called "Blue Sky Laws" to prosecute securities law violations.

Instead, the effectiveness in the New York Attorney General in this area is principally a function of the historical accident that New York City is the center of the American securities industry. So, almost all securities transactions of national economic importance have a nexus with New York state that makes it possible for the New York Attorney General to assert jurisdiction, usually because some or all of the doing took place there, even if the victims are mostly located outside of New York State.

Further, in part because the New York Attorney General is capable of intervening is so many securities law cases, the New York Attorney General has more staff with specialized expertise in handling these kinds of cases than a typical state attorney general's office.

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