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For first time, Exelon warns investors it could be hit with criminal or civil penalties, waves off class action suit

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020

[Bumped up from late Tuesday for visibility and comments opened for discussion.]

* Steve Daniels at Crain’s

For the first time, Exelon is warning its investors explicitly that it and subsidiary Commonwealth Edison could be subject to criminal or civil penalties in the various federal investigations that have enveloped the energy company.

For months, Exelon has disclosed that it and ComEd received subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern Illinois into their lobbying activities and communications with state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, who since has pleaded guilty to taking bribes. But, until now, it said it couldn’t predict any outcome of the probe.

* The new info is contained in Exelon’s SEC report….

The outcome of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC investigations cannot be predicted and could subject Exelon and ComEd to criminal or civil penalties, sanctions or other remedial measures.

Any of the foregoing, as well as the appearance of non-compliance with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, could have an adverse impact on Exelon’s and ComEd’s reputation or relationship with regulatory and legislative authorities, customers and other stakeholders, as well as their consolidated financial statements.

“Adverse impact.” Yeah. That’s one way to say it.

But the company doesn’t appear to be too worried about the financial impact

No loss contingency has been reflected in Exelon’s and ComEd’s consolidated financial statements as this contingency is neither probable nor reasonably estimable at this time. Management is currently unable to estimate a range of reasonably possible loss as these matters are subject to change.

* And then there’s this

Subsequent to Exelon announcing the receipt of the subpoenas, a putative class action lawsuit has been filed against Exelon and certain officers of Exelon and ComEd alleging misrepresentations or omissions by Exelon purporting to relate to matters that are the subject of the subpoenas and the SEC investigation. Exelon believes that these claims lack merit and intends to defend against them, and though the costs or any loss associated with the lawsuit cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, Exelon does not believe that the lawsuit will have a material adverse impact on Exelon’s or ComEd’s consolidated financial statements.

Click here for more info about that class action lawsuit.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    === various federal investigations===

    For me, this is the largest of the takeaways.

    How all this will play out, connecting “to what”, part “of which”…

    The rest is seemingly known (to us here and following it outside the corporate impact of stockholders and business) but this nugget is the tastiest;

    === No loss contingency has been reflected in Exelon’s and ComEd’s consolidated financial statements as this contingency is neither probable nor reasonably estimable at this time. Management is currently unable to estimate a range of reasonably possible loss as these matters are subject to change.===

    “In the end, the books look good, no financial hit, just ride out the fallout… ‘subject to change’… “

    They’re a corporation, if it still can make money off… whatever… then it’s a cost of doing business in the short term… namely its reputation takes a hit, but the cash flow is still solid.


    Cold. Cold but accurate by them.

  2. - Candesent - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    I wish ComEd would give us some free lightbulbs.

  3. - Silly Dilly Nilly - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    Im so titillated and stimulated by the revelation that there are multiple federal investigations. My dreams are coming true. In the words of the great Chris Matthews I feel a tingle of my leg.

  4. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    Silly: ooh I think this feeling is contagious…I would love to hear
    what Frank Clark has to say about this investigation…maybe in time he will be “encouraged” to tell all…

  5. - Huh? - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    Throw in an idea for Chicago to go into the electricity distribution business and the ComEd monopoly starts to look a bit ragged.

  6. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    Jail the offenders. That will change behavior. Corporate fines have little effect.

    Years ago I joined a company where 20 years earlier executives had gone to jail for price fixing. The people I worked with were still extremely careful about anything that could be construed as improper communication with a competitor. When you see your boss go to jail, the lesson hits home.

  7. - Ben Tre - Thursday, Feb 13, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    Real question is whether they write down the value of Mike Madigan on their balance sheet. :)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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