SeaWorld could face punishment from the SEC, company discloses

by

comment
PHOTO BY ABI SKIPP VIA FLICKR
  • Photo by Abi Skipp via Flickr
On Thursday, SeaWorld Entertainment reportedly disclosed in a filing that they had been alerted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staff recommends the company face a civil punishment or administrative hearings for violating federal securities law.

The SEC and U.S. Department of Justice have been investigating the company for comments made by executives in August 2014 about the impact from the Blackfish documentary, an anti-captivity film, and trading in the company’s securities, the company admitted in a June SEC filing. At the time, the company’s executives were accused of misleading shareholders about how the anti-captivity film hurt SeaWorld’s business and attendance at the theme parks.



A fine is one the punishments SEC staff could recommend. SeaWorld executives plan to tell the SEC why it doesn’t deserve to face any penalties, the company said in the filing.
SeaWorld received a Wells notice last week – what the SEC sends to a person or entity to explain proposed charges and to give them a chance to explain themselves in return, the SEC’s website states.

The company is also facing a lawsuit from investors and a criminal investigation currently being conducted by the Department of Justice.



Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.