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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it began re-examining its approach to settlements, including the no-admit, no-deny policy, and where admissions of guilt “could be in the public interest.”  Those situations include cases in which admissions might safeguard against risks posed by the defendant to the investing public or when the defendant obstructed the SEC’s investigative processes. 

The SEC usually settles its cases without the defendants admitting guilt, but the agency’s settlements also prohibit the defendants from denying the allegations, the letter said.   

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it planned to change its no-admit, no-deny policy for select cases involving misconduct that harmed large number of investors.  The potentially groundbreaking policy change, of which the SEC informed its enforcement team in a Monday letter, comes in the wake of federal judges criticizing the SEC for allowing major financial institutions to settle massive litigation without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. 

“We are going to, in certain cases, be seeking admissions going forward,” White said at the Wall Street Journal’s annual CFO Network event, according to Reuters.  “I think … public accountability in particular kinds of cases can be quite important and if we don’t get them, then we litigate them.” 

“This is not a criticism of the past practice and having ‘no admit, no deny’ settlement protocols in your arsenal as a civil enforcement agency … (is) critically important to maintain,” she reportedly said. 

The SEC would require admissions or acknowledgment of misconduct if the agency deems them critical and would litigate the cases if the defendants refuse to confess, according to the letter. 

“While the no admit/deny language is a powerful tool, there may be situations where we determine that a different approach is appropriate,” the agency said in the letter.  “There may be certain cases where heightened accountability or acceptance of responsibility through the defendant’s admission of misconduct may be appropriate, even if it does not allow us to achieve a prompt resolution.” 

The letter added, however, that insisting upon admissions in certain cases could delay the resolution of the cases and that many cases wouldn’t meet the criteria for admissions. 

“For these reasons, no-admit-no-deny settlements will continue to serve an important role in our mission and most cases will continue to be resolved on that basis,” the letter said.  “We will also continue to strongly defend our discretion to reach such settlements in response to inquiries from courts.” 

Experts predicted Tuesday that the change in SEC policy could lead to more high-profile securities trials but also jeopardize settlements.

A whistleblower is an employee, former employee, a member of an organization, or a third party who reports misconduct that cheats the federal or state government, or violates securities laws. Generally, the misconduct is a violation of a law, rule, regulation, and/or a direct threat to public interest.  Fraud, health, safety violations, and corruptions are just a few examples of possible misconducts.

Video :: Whistleblowertoday.comMilberg Director of Investigation Steven Bursey, a veteran FBI agent, explains the process of filing a whistleblower claim.

Get Rewarded

Whistleblower TodayReporting Government Fraud - Qui tam is a Latin legal phrase synonymous with whistleblower. The qui tam laws in federal and state False Claims Act cases allow a person or company with specific knowledge of fraud on the government to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States, and one’s own behalf, and receive a share of up to 30% of the proceeds.

Reporting Financial Fraud

SEC Whistleblower Program - The Securities and Exchange Commissions Whistleblower Program, created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act, protects and rewards an individual or individuals who voluntarily report original information relating to violations of the securities laws such as stock price manipulation and accounting fraud. Under the program, whistleblowers can now receive from 10% to 30% of the monies collected based on the whistleblower's information.

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