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SEC Settles Section 304 'Clawback' Case Against Maynard Jenkins ... Again

Bruce Carton | November 18, 2011

On Tuesday, the SEC announced that it had reached a settlement with Maynard L. Jenkins, the former CEO and chairman of CSK Auto Corporation, in which Jenkins agreed to return $2.8 million in bonus compensation and stock profits that he received while the company was committing accounting fraud. The settlement still must receive court approval and, since the case was filed in federal court in Arizona and not in the SDNY where it could go to Judge Rakoff, that approval might actually happen!

The Jenkins case has received a significant amount of attention because Jenkins was never charged by the SEC for the company's misconduct. The agency still demanded, however, that he reimburse reimburse CSK Auto for incentive-based compensation and stock sale profits that he received during the period of the alleged accounting period.  The SEC stated when it brought the case against Jenkins in 2009 that the case was "the first action seeking reimbursement under the SOX 'clawback' provision (Section 304) from an individual who is not alleged to have otherwise violated the securities laws."

In March 2011, Jenkins and the SEC staff notified the trial court that they had reached a tentative settlement, subject to approval by the Commission. In July 2011, however, the Commission rejected that proposed settlement. The Washington Post reported that the settlement was "for significantly less money than the agency originally sought," which was more than $4 million. The amount of that proposed settlement was not disclosed, but presumably it was below the $2.8 million settlement that was approved by the Commission and announced this week.