Private Company Fraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fewer companies are going public in the United States, but public companies are still the focus of securities law and enforcement. A major exception is that anti-fraud provisions apply to all companies, public or private. Theranos is a prominent example. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued this private company for securities fraud. This article examines one societal cost of the decline of public companies: the loss of information needed to detect and punish fraud. It analyzes the SEC’s securities fraud enforcements against private companies and assesses the information costs of moving to an anti-fraud-only regime. It concludes by identifying ways to incentivize information disclosure in the newly private universe of corporations, including a proposal to expand whistleblower protection for employees of private companies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663
JournalUC Davis Law Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • startups
  • securities regulation
  • fraud
  • white collar crime
  • securities enforcement
  • SEC
  • Theranos
  • whistleblowers
  • securities and exchange commission
  • unicorns
  • private companies


Dive into the research topics of 'Private Company Fraud'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this