The Supreme Court voted to let stand a ruling against two former executives of Gemstar-TV Guide International, supporting the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to freeze payments to executives under federal accounting fraud law.
Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC was granted the power to block payments to executives. Following an investigation of a $250 million accounting scandal at Gemstar, the SEC froze $37 million in termination payments to former executives Henry Yuen and Elsie Leung, who promptly challenged the law. A trial judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled that the freeze was allowed, and later was overruled by a Ninth Circuit panel. The appeals court then reheard the case and overturned its original ruling.
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