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February 25, 2012

Settlements Without Admissions Get Scrutiny

 The entrenched practice of allowing companies and individuals to settle federal regulatory charges without admitting that they actually did anything wrong is coming under growing scrutiny by the courts.

Two federal judges have questioned such settlements proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and this week a third judge held up a settlement offered by the Federal Trade Commission.

Judge Renee Marie Bumb of United States District Court in Camden, N.J., blocked a proposed settlement on Wednesday between the Federal Trade Commission and a marketing company based in New Jersey on charges that the company and its chief executive made false and unsubstantiated claims that the use of açaí berry-based products, which they promoted, would result in rapid and substantial weight loss.

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