Patent licensing firm Acacia Research Corp. announced the firing of its general counsel less than a month after she was fined $25,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission for impeding an investigation into her former employer.
Meredith Simmons had her employment with Acacia terminated Oct. 14 after joining the company in May. She served as general counsel and chief compliance officer of Mason Capital Management from 2011 to 2018, during which time her alleged misconduct took place.
The SEC on Sept. 30 settled charges with Simmons, who allegedly impeded an investigation into Mason’s investment into a company that was being purchased and about a decision she made regarding insider information an analyst at the firm may have received before the sale closed. Documents she did provide to the SEC contained altered dates and inaccurate information, the agency said.
Along with the $25,000 fine, Simmons was censured and suspended from appearing before the SEC as an attorney, representing clients in SEC matters, and from advising clients about SEC filing obligations for at least a year. She was barred for three years from acting in a compliance capacity with any broker, dealer, investment advisor, mutual securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or statistical rating organization.