The Sarbanes Oxley Act Of 2002 Essay

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As the seventh biggest company in the United States at the time, Enron’s downfall in 2001 sent seismic shocks through corporate America. A week before Enron disclosed charges for bad investments totaling more than $1 billion, Arthur Andersen, Enron’s accounting firm, started shredding documents as well as emails that connected them to Enron’s crime. After Enron’s bankruptcy announcement, Congress turned its attention to the regulatory and legal aspect that enabled Enron’s façade to go on for years. As a result, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The act was meant to protect investors from fraudulent accounting activities by corporations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandated strict reforms to improve financial disclosures from corporations and prevent accounting fraud. In 2013, John Yates, a commercial fisherman from Florida, was found guilty by the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit of impeding a federal investigation by purposely throwing overboard a “tangible object.” Under Section 1519 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (18 U.S.C. § 1519), it is illegal to purposely discard a “tangible object” relevant to a federal investigation. The court’s decision hung on the broad interpretation that a fish is a “tangible object.” The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear Yates v. US in early November 2014. The Supreme Court now has the opportunity to determine whether a fish is a “tangible object” and whether the potential broad application of Section 1519 was…

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