As Targacept Hid an SEC Probe from 2013-2015, Today SEC Helps Keep Investors in the Dark


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Targacept, Inc. - TRGT

Undisclosed SEC Probe from 2013-2015

Facts of Interest or Concern:

  • In a letter dated 26-Mar-2015, the SEC informed us, "… research in our database index indicates that the subject of your request was listed in the matter of “Targacept, Inc” which opened January 2013 and is currently in the process of being closed.…
  • The SEC reported that the company claims, “an estimated volume of records greater than three boxes” related to this investigation are confidential. 
  • We found no disclosures of SEC investigative activity during the period this matter took place.

Our Take:

As usual, the SEC refuses to release any records that would enable investors to know what took place in this multi-year, undisclosed SEC investigation of Targacept.  We remain sharply critical of the SEC for this practice. 

The company's doing its part on keeping investors in the dark too. 

First, it elected to not disclose a multi-year SEC probe only recently ended.  Along the way it erected barriers designed to block your access to related records.  This was done through sweeping claims of confidentiality on records related to the probe.  

It is possible that the large volume of records Targacept claims are "confidential" really are.  Perhaps.  But we also know that making blanket claims of confidentiality is a dodge widely prompted by the legal community as yet another tool for public companies to keep investors in the dark regarding their investigations. 

To learn more on our process and what our findings mean, click here.

Notes: The SEC did not disclose the details on investigations referenced above. The SEC reminds us that its assertion of the law enforcement exemption should not be construed as an indication by the Commission or its staff that any violations of law have occurred with respect to any person, entity, or security.  New SEC investigative activity could theoretically begin or end after the date covered by this latest information which would not be reflected here.