A key lesson from the April 25 Celadon Group Inc. accounting fraud case is that a company’s response to a federal investigation can be paramount to obtaining a deferred prosecution agreement and avoiding an independent compliance monitor.

That’s the opinion of Julie Myers Wood, CEO of compliance consultant Guidepost Solutions, after Celadon announced Thursday that it signed a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The Indianapolis-based trucking company agreed to pay $42.2 million in restitution to shareholders to settle securities fraud charges for “filing materially false and misleading statements to investors and falsifying books, records and accounts.”

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