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The Changing Landscape Of Internal Corporate Investigations

Harvey L. Pitt | July 27, 2004

Although the spectacular, seemingly daily, announcements of multi-billion dollar global corporate implosions is now—hopefully—behind us, each day’s press still brings news of companies under government investigation. Indeed, the SEC opened nearly 700 investigations this past year, an all-time record.

More and more frequently, companies finding themselves in the government’s cross-hairs announce the onset of the investigation, and declare the intention to cooperate. The following day ineluctably brings a precipitous market cap drop of between 10 and 20 percent.

Particularly in the current post-Sarbanes-Oxley environment, public companies must assume that they will become the subject—if not the target—of a governmental investigation at some point, most likely relating...

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