The United States Department of Justice is ending its probe into SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Dec. 12.
The case being investigated questioned whether company officials misled investors on the “Blackfish” documentary and its negative impact on SeaWorld. According to the filing, the DOJ notified the company it has decided not to take actions against it.
An SEC complaint filed in federal court in New York on Aug. 13, 2014, alleged SeaWorld and former CEO, James Atchison, made misleading statements or omissions in regulatory filings, earnings releases and calls, and to the press regarding the film's impact on the company's reputation and business between December 2013 and August 2014. Attendance and revenue of SeaWorld declined after the 2013 release of the film, which focused on the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer in 2010.
In September, SeaWorld and Atchison, agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle fraud charges for misleading investors about the documentary film. SeaWorld’s former vice president of communications, Frederick D. Jacobs, agreed to settle fraud charges for his role as well.