In my writing I encounter topics about regulations and I am forced to use the word "punish" very frequently. The tone of my writing should be formal / professional, and I am at my wit's end as to how to introduce much needed word variety -- seeing as all the synonyms that the thesaurus and my brain can think of do not have the right level of formality.
- chastise (formal, but now its overkill)
- crack down
This is merely for the general case, but for illustrations sake, consider:
The regulator _______ the company citing insufficient due diligence.
My last iota of hope hinges on some phrase that retains a formal style that has the appropriate meaning. Thesauruses are not always robust to such phrases, so perhaps the greater community here will have some ideas.