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January 25, 2013

Colorado judge rejects 'neither admit nor deny' SEC settlement

It’s not exactly an epidemic, but a federal judge in Colorado appears to have caught Rakoff fever.

“Two weeks before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on whether U.S. Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff exceeded his authority when he rejected the Securities and Exchange Commission’s $285 million settlement with Citigroup, U.S. Senior District Judge John Kane of Denver has refused to approve the SEC’s proposed $12 million “neither admit nor deny” settlement with Bridge Premium Financial and a former Bridge executive accused of running a Ponzi scheme. In a one-paragraph order last week, Kane said he would not approve a deal in which the defendant “remains defiantly mute” about the truth of the SEC’s allegations. “A defendant’s options in this regard are binary: He may admit the allegation or he may go to trial,” Kane wrote. The judge also said he would not consent to any final judgment without an entry of findings of fact and conclusions of law. “These findings are important to inform the public and the appellate courts,” he said.

“The ruling seems to represent a change of heart for Kane, who in 2011 approved the SEC’s $4 million settlement with investment advisor Neal Greenberg, even though that deal did not require Greenberg to admit or deny the agency’s allegations.”

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Read full Thomson Reuters News & Insight article here

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