Capital One CEO Fined For Violating Laws Regarding Stock Acquisition

The Federal Trade Commission or FTC has fined Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One Financial Corp., for repeatedly violating antitrust laws.

In a statement, the agency said that Fairbank will pay a $637,950 civil penalty to settle charges that his acquisition of Capital One Financial stock violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. The Wall Street banker failed to comply with federal antitrust laws on multiple occasions when he illegally finalized stock acquisitions.

As per the complaint, Fairbank’s recent compensation package included over 100,000 Capital One Financial shares in 2018, which increased his holdings to $168 million. He allegedly failed to report his sizable stock windfall to federal antitrust authorities and illegally finalized the acquisition before the agencies could investigate.

The FTC noted that Fairbank twice failed to comply with the HSR Act in making filings relating to his multi-million dollar compensation package. In 1999 and 2004, he failed to file under the HSR Act before acquiring Capital One Financial voting securities.

Despite warnings for his failures to comply, in 2018 Fairbank allegedly violated the laws again as he did not file before acquiring additional Capital One Financial voting securities in excess of the HSR filing threshold, as adjusted.

The FTC said its order is the first time Fairbank has been penalized despite being a repeat filing offender with wrongdoing since 1991.

Holly Vedova, Acting Director of the Bureau of Competition, said, “As the CEO of one of America’s largest banks, Richard Fairbank repeatedly broke the law. There is no exemption for Wall Street bankers and powerful CEOs when it comes to complying with our country’s antitrust laws.”

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