The stock of charter telecommunications, which was once the most popular U.S. cable company, is under heavy pressure after a federal regulator recommended the company’s board of directors could face a federal criminal investigation for misleading investors.
Charter Communications is under federal investigation for its failed attempt to acquire Charter Communications for $2.7 billion.
The investigation could lead to civil or criminal penalties.
Charter CEO David L. Thomas said in a statement that the board has “re-evaluated our options in light of the recent reports.”
He added that the company has taken the “unbiased and thorough” actions to protect the company.
“The board is working diligently with the Department of Justice and is evaluating all options to ensure that we are not held responsible for any legal action or regulatory actions,” Thomas said.
Charter said it will cooperate fully with the probe.
The federal Office of the Inspector General released a report last month into Charter’s stock.
OIG Director Peter Orr said in his report that Charter is “a company that was built to operate with the highest level of integrity and accountability.”
Charter was founded in 1984 and has become a dominant player in U..
S.-based cable television.
The company now owns more than 1,500 U.s. cable companies and offers a broad range of services including online streaming, cable-based TV, cable internet, digital video and audio and wireless service.
Charter also has operations in more than 40 countries.
The OIG said the company is “likely to be subject to additional investigations as part of its ongoing examination of Charter’s business operations.”
The OGE said it received a request for information about the investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the U,S.
Securities and Technology Commission.
Charter has not yet responded to the OIG’s request for comment.
Oig found Charter’s Board of Directors has a history of violating rules designed to protect investors from corporate insider trading.
In 2013, the company was ordered to pay $5.3 million to investors in a securities-fraud case that alleged the company engaged in illegal insider trading, including by giving away stock options to insiders.
Charter was fined $2 million in that case.
In 2012, Charter was ordered by the Securities Exchange Commission to pay nearly $1.8 million to an investor in a case in which the company illegally traded stock options and other financial instruments.
Charter’s board was also fined $849,000 in a 2013 securities-trading case.
Charter owns the U-verse cable service, which is based in Chicago.
The cable provider also owns the popular Cablevision, which carries a number of high-speed Internet service providers, including Time Warner Cable and Comcast.
Charter bought Time Warner in 2014 for $55 billion.
In May, the OGE fined Charter $3 million for misleading and deceptive acts and conduct, including misleading investors about Charter’s performance in its most recent quarterly earnings.
The watchdog agency also said Charter’s “significant and persistent financial performance underpins its financial health and has resulted in substantial and continuing shareholder support.”
Charter’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Rutledge, a former executive at AT&T, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he was pleased the O’Reilly Factor made clear the company doesn’t care what happens to Charter.
“Our shareholders deserve to know the truth about our business,” Rutledge said.
“We’re not going to get away with this stuff.”
Charter is not alone in the fight to protect shareholders from corporate crime.
Charter shares are up about 8% so far this year.
The stock is up more than 30% in the last two months, according to data compiled by FactSet.
Charter stock rose about 5% on Wednesday as the FCC opened an investigation into the company over allegations of securities fraud.