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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena SCANA over failed nuclear project

Stock market regulators subpoena SCANA over failed nuclear project, Post and Courier, By John McDermott and Thad Moore Oct 17, 2017 

The nation’s top stock market regulator is investigating SCANA Corp.’s failed nuclear construction project, piling onto the growing stack of legal challenges and criminal probes now dogging South Carolina’s largest company.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees the stock market, has asked SCANA for documents tied to its effort to expand the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station north of Columbia. The company disclosed the investigation to its investors Tuesday.

Cayce-based SCANA, which owns South Carolina Electric & Gas, said the SEC’s subpoena was connected to “an investigation they are conducting relating to the new nuclear project.” The SEC declined to comment on the probe or its focus.

The state-owned power company Santee Cooper, meantime, hasn’t received a subpoena from the SEC, spokeswoman Mollie Gore said. Santee Cooper owned a minority stake in the project, which cost some $9 billion before it was abandoned in July.

The SEC inquiry is one of several investigations into the project, which was once heralded as the beginning of an American nuclear renaissance with a pair of new reactors in Fairfield County.

SCANA and Santee Cooper have already received a subpoena from a federal grand jury in Columbia, and the State Law Enforcement Division has opened a criminal inquiry into potential fraud surrounding the project. The state Legislature has formed two panels looking into what went wrong……..

The plunge has inspired at least three shareholders to sue SCANA, accusing the company and its executives of breaking securities laws by hiding the project’s problems from investors. The allegations have focused in part on the so-called Bechtel report, a highly critical audit that questioned the reactors’ viability in 2016.

And while legal challenges have piled up for SCANA, the SEC has already been involved on the edges of the V.C. Summer project.

Market regulators have been looking into the project’s lead contractor, Westinghouse, and how it recorded the project’s finances before filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, court filings show. The SEC has also been investigating the accounting practices of Westinghouse’s Japanese parent company, Toshiba…..


October 18, 2017 - Posted by | Legal, USA

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