SEC enforcement: Does forthright disclosure and cooperation really matter?
This study examines the conditions under which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exercises enforcement leniency following a restatement. I explore whether cooperation with SEC staff and forthright disclosure of a restatement (e.g., disclosures reported in a timely and visible manner) reduce the likelihood of an SEC sanction or SEC monetary penalties. After controlling for restatement severity, I find that cooperation increases the likelihood of being sanctioned, perhaps because it improves the SEC's ability to build a successful case against the firm. However, cooperation and forthright disclosures are rewarded by the SEC through lower monetary penalties.
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