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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Jan. 6 that it would no longer allow a defendant to “neither admit nor deny” the allegations raised against it by the SEC when the defendant has already admitted to, or been convicted of, criminal violations stemming from the same conduct. Although the shift reflects a change to the SEC’s longstanding policy of using this language to facilitate settlement, the revision will only apply to the minority of its cases in which there is either a parallel criminal conviction (by plea or verdict) or an agreement with criminal authorities to defer prosecution or to not prosecute as part of a settlement (NPA/DPA).

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