Ex-First Solar executive settles US SEC charges over disclosures

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 Fri Sep 6, 2013 2:15pm EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The former head of investor relations at First Solar Inc will pay $50,000 to settle civil charges that he wrongfully gave some analysts and investors a heads-up that the company was unlikely to receive a U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee, U.S. regulators said on Friday.

Lawrence Polizzotto settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting or denying the charges.

The SEC said he violated fair disclosure rules after letting only select people know the news about the loan. When First Solar more broadly announced it the following morning in a press release, the company's stock price dropped 6 percent.

The SEC said it has decided not to separately charge the company due to its "extraordinary cooperation," noting it self-reported the violations to the SEC.