Arizona Federal District Court Holds That Securities & Exchange Commission Need Not Allege Wrongdoing On The Part Of CEO When Pursuing Reimbursement Under Section 304 Of Sarbanes-Oxley Act

In Securities & Exchange Commission v. Jenkins, No. CV-09-1510-PHX-GMS, 2010 WL 2347020 (D. Ariz. Jun. 9, 2010), the United States District Court for the District of Arizona held that the responsibility of a CEO under Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Act”) to reimburse an issuer for bonuses, incentive compensation and stock sale proceeds he or she received in the year prior to a restatement of the issuer’s financial statements does not require a showing that CEO committed or even knew of misconduct that led to the restatement. This decision marks the first time a court has applied Section 304 of the Act in the absence of allegations that the targeted CEO personally committed any wrongdoing, enforcing strict liability of CEOs and CFOs in the event of a restatement due to corporate (as opposed to their own) misconduct.

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