In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it would no longer follow by rote its longstanding policy of resolving cases without requiring targets to admit liability.
Last week, it filed a proposed settlement in which hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone and his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners, agreed to admit wrongdoing as well as disgorge profits, pay civil penalties, and accept debarment from the securities industry for at least five years. Previously, the Commission had rejected a settlement in the case that did not include admissions of wrongdoing. So it appears the new policy has some teeth.
To decide where to draw the line going forward, the Commission has said it will consider factors such as the number of investors harmed or the egregiousness of the fraud.
Here’s the press release.