George L. Miles

Document Type



It has become increasingly common in the years following the 2008 financial crisis for the public to read news headlines of the latest hundred million dollar settlements reached between the United States federal government and major corporations wherein the defendants do not admit or deny the charges alleged. This Note analyzes why one agency in particular, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has come to rely almost exclusively on these types of settlements, and, through a close examination of a recent case on appeal in the Second Circuit (SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc.), documents how the courts have struggled with allowing them to be finalized due to the absence of sufficient factual support. It concludes that further development of the existing standard for judicial review is needed, and proposes a framework that would increase transparency and accountability surrounding these types of government settlements.