Disgorgement and discretion

The SEC settled an enforcement action except as to the issue of potential disgorgement. SEC v. Halek, No. 12-11045 (August 5, 2013).  Negotiations then broke down because the SEC did not accept the financial information provided by the defendants.  The district court then entered an order to disgorge over $20 million.  In affirming the district court, the Fifth Circuit: (1) found no abuse of discretion in reopening the case, noting that “[a]n administrative closure is more akin to a stay than a dismissal,” (2) reminded that “[d]istrict courts have ‘broad discretion in fashioning the equitable remedy of a disgorgement order,'” and (3) found no clear error in the court’s determinations about joint and several liablity, the reasonableness of the ordered amount as an approximation of the defendants’ unlawful gain, or its decision not to credit settlement payments against the ordered amount.

Recent Related Posts