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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:32 pm
Think of this scenario: You’ve got the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on your trail. They’re riffling through files, seeking out documents, and looking to have a sit-down with company executives, brokers, and others. The reason – they’ve got questions. Lots of them.
These heavyweight players can issue administrative subpoenas to summon you for a chat or demand you turn over documents – a power they don’t need a judge’s approval for. So, if you’re counting on a bit of judicial mercy to wiggle off the hook, let’s just say you might not want to hold your breath on that.
So, say you’ve been called on the carpet by the SEC. It’s not exactly tea time at Buckingham Palace, is it? But you’ve got a date, and it’s a serious one. You’ll need to gear up, know what to expect, and enter that room fully prepped and primed for action.
As you gear up to put in a star performance before the SEC, it’s worth figuring out just why you’re being invited to do the Hokey Pokey in the first instance.
You see, the SEC has a truckload of concerns, but they primarily revolve around the twin mammoth tasks of shielding U.S. investors and keeping an eagle eye on the U.S. capital markets. Thus, its investigations are generally targeted at snuffing out cases of fraud, conspiracy, and other such unsavory deeds in these areas.
The SEC should have clued you in on the scope and focus of their investigation through the subpoena. But it might not hurt to get smart with other sources of useful intel you can lay your hands on. Got wind of someone else served a subpoena? Broke bread with someone who might have received a Wells Notice? Heard whispers about a potential internal compliance hiccup? Gather all such string and thread it together to weave a coherent picture.
Testifying before the SEC can feel like a marathon interrogation with questions lobbed at you from every corner of the room for ages on end. Generally, Todd Spodek at Spodek Law Group suggests that there are seven categories of questions you should be ready to volley. These are:
Background and Personal Particulars
Your Role Inside Your Company
Scope of Your Duties
Wrapping up and Record Clarification
Questions Related to Preliminary Matters
This first set of items is pretty straightforward and should help lay the ground rules. Be prepared to clarify issues such as your familiarity with the Formal Order associated with your case, inquiries about the completion and accuracy of your Background Questionnaire, and your understanding of the rules and procedures of the SEC testimony process.
Background and Personal Information Queries
Here, they’ll open the floor about your educational history, any professional or financial licenses you hold, your employment trail, and any intersections with other individuals involved in the matter. The SEC investigators might have a fair share of the intel, so you’ll want to thread this minefield carefully to avoid leaving out any important details or straying into misleading territory.
Delving into Your Company Role
If your firm or company is at the heart of the matter, get ready to go over your role in the organization. There might be questions on your duties (and how these may have morphed over time), the company’s funding, the decision-making mechanisms, whether the company sells securities or pays dividends, and much more.
Questions on the Breadth of Your Duties
The SEC sleuths will then narrow down on the scope of your job function. Expect to be quizzed on your involvement in financial matters, dealings with third parties, marketing thrusts, and knowledge about the company’s anticipated monetization plans, among other things.
Interactions with Investors
They will then focus on the company’s rapport with investors. You may need to detail out the company’s investor acquisition strategies, dealings with specific sets of customers, interactions with investors, and details regarding capital contributions. Remember that misleading answers could land you deeper in trouble.
Addressing Due Diligence
There might be interest in whether you and your firm have put in enough work on background checks, especially since many company executives are not sufficiently familiar with companies’ due diligence mandates. Insightful responses on the company’s know-your-customer (“KYC”) policies and other procedures could go a long way in managing this line of questioning.
Cleansing and Closing the Record
The SEC gang would then throw the floor open to you to clarify any points in your testimony. It’s imperative that you don’t drop your guard at this end-game stage as you clarify any lingering doubts or add any pertinent details that you may have left out earlier.
Bluntly speaking, getting an SEC subpoena is like being flung into shark-infested waters. But with some smart thinking, gathering the right information, and with the experienced hands at Spodek Law Group, you might just keep from becoming chum.
With a bit of coaching from legal guns like Todd Spodek and the team at Spodek Law Group, you might just be able to dodge the SEC’s line of fire. The trick? Getting a clear insight into the potential questions you could be facing and practicing your answers. Here goes:
Examining Preliminary Matters
The SEC boys and girls will want to get the lay of the land. Expect questions about your preparations, your understanding of the case, and your knowledge about the testimony process.
Digging Into Your Personal and Professional Life
This isn’t about getting a fun profile done. They’ll want to validate the deets on your resume. And yes, they probably know more about you than you think – so no point fibbing.
Unraveling Your Role at the Company
They’ll want the inside scoop on what you do and what your company’s all about. So be ready to fill them in on your duties, your decision-making ability, and your corporate structure.
Understanding the Scope of your Duties
At this point, the interrogation veers more to the meat of the SEC investigation, zooming in on your job specifics and involvement in the company’s operations.
Gleaning Insight about Your Handling of Investors
Did you think they’d not ask about the investors? Wrong! They’ll want all the gossip on the company’s investor communications, your role in it, and details about capital contributions.
Scrutinizing Due Diligence Procedures
They’ll expect you to speak their language about KYC policies, your firm’s compliance program, and your contribution towards verifying investors.
Cleaning up and Closing the Record
Finally, it’s your turn – to clarify any dangling points in your testimony. Speak up, but with caution to avoid complicating things further.
Does all this make you feel like you’re walking into the lion’s den? With Spodek Law Group at your side, you can confidently take on the SEC’s subpoena and walk out, unscathed. Remember, the court is just a battlefield with pens instead of swords, and Todd Spodek knows how to parry and thrust with the best of them.
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