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$1.5 Billion May Be Slated For "Fair Funds." What Is It?

Taub Stephen | January 13, 2004

In the few days leading up to Christmas, the SEC was either playing the role of Santa Claus or Scrooge, depending upon your perspective.

On Dec. 22 it reached a settlement with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), for its role in Enron's manipulation of its financial statements. As part of the deal, CIBC was ordered to pay $80 million: $37.5 million in disgorgement, a $37.5 million penalty, and $5 million in prejudgment interest. (Related SEC litigation release at right).

The Commission said it intends to direct the money paid by CIBC to Enron fraud victims under the Fair Fund provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The following day, the Commission settled fraud charges against Vivendi Universal, S.A., its former CEO, Jean-Marie Messier and former CFO, Guillaume Hannezo. Under the settlement, Vivendi agreed to pay a $50 million civil penalty....

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