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Investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission

Jan. 19, 2012

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations are conducted confidentially to protect evidence and reputations. Important documents could be destroyed if an investigation is publicly announced, so confidential treatment may help to preserve key evidence in a case. A confidential process also protects the reputations of companies and individuals where the SEC finds no wrongdoing by the firm or the individuals that were the subject of the investigation. As a result, the SEC generally will not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation unless and until it becomes a matter of public record.

An investigation becomes public when the SEC files an action in court or through an administrative proceeding. The SEC website contains information about public enforcement actions. For additional information on how SEC investigations work, please see the following bulletin by the SEC’s Office of Public Affairs.

We have provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.

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