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SEC Launches Probe of Corinthian Colleges

September 21, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Corinthian Colleges Inc., already hit with federal and state investigations, said Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an informal probe into the company.

The SEC is looking at company statements and performance during the fiscal year that ended June 30 and for the quarter ending Sept. 30, Corinthian said in a statement. The company said it believed the SEC also was looking at a U.S. Department of Education program review at the San Jose campus of Bryman College, which found violations of student loan application rules.

The Santa Ana company, one of the largest for-profit operators of trade and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada, said the SEC has asked it to keep certain documents and data related to the review.

In addition to the Department of Education inquiry, the company is being investigated by the California attorney general's office as part of a broad examination of the industry.

Corinthian, which operates 130 campuses, has said that the lawsuits were without merit and that it was cooperating with investigators.

Shares of Corinthian Colleges fell 45 cents, or 3.2%, to $13.60 on Nasdaq.

The stock has fallen 55% in the last year.

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