17 CFR Appendix A to Part 10, Commission Policy Relating to the Acceptance of Settlements in Administrative and Civil Proceedings
It is the policy of the Commission not to accept any offer of settlement submitted by any respondent or defendant in an administrative or civil proceeding, if the settling respondent or defendant wishes to continue to deny the allegations of the complaint or the findings of fact or conclusions of law to be made in the settlement order entered by the Commission or a court. In accepting a settlement and entering an order finding violations of the Act and/or regulations promulgated under the Act, the Commission makes uncontested findings of fact and conclusions of law. Similarly, in settling a civil proceeding with a defendant the Commission invites the federal court to make conclusions of law and, in some instances, findings of fact. The Commission does not believe it would be appropriate for it to be making or inviting a court to make such uncontested findings of violations if the party against whom the findings and conclusions are to be entered is continuing to deny the alleged misconduct.
The refusal of a settling respondent or defendant to admit the allegations in a Commission-instituted complaint or the findings of fact or conclusions of law in the settlement order entered by the Commission or a court shall be treated as a denial, unless the party states that he or she neither admits nor denies the allegations or the findings and conclusions. In that event, the proposed offer of settlement, consent or consent order must include a provision stating that, by neither admitting nor denying the allegations, findings or conclusions, the settling respondent or defendant agrees that neither he or she nor any of his or her agents or employees under his authority or control shall take any action or make any public statement denying, directly or indirectly, any allegation in the complaint or findings or conclusions in the order, or creating, or tending to create, the impression that the complaint or the order is without a factual basis; provided, however, that nothing in this provision shall affect the settling respondent's or defendant's -
i. Testimonial obligation, or
ii. Right to take legal positions in other proceedings to which the Commission is not a party.