SOX Key Provisions

SOX Compliance

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SOX Section 802:
Criminal Penalties for Altering Documents

Section 802 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act imposes penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment for altering, destroying, mutilating, concealing, falsifying records, documents or tangible objects with the intent to obstruct, impede or influence a legal investigation. This section also imposes penalties of of up to 10 years on any accountant, auditor or other who knowingly and wilfully violates the requirements of maintenance of all audit or review papers for a period of 5 years, as per these sections:

1519. Destruction, ateration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tan-gible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the in-vestigation or proper administration of any matter within the juris-diction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

1520. Destruction of corporate audit records

(a)(1) Any accountant who conducts an audit of an issuer of securities to which section 10A(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78j1(a)) applies, shall maintain all audit or re-view workpapers for a period of 5 years from the end of the fiscal period in which the audit or review was concluded.

(2) The Securities and Exchange Commission shall promul-gate, within 180 days, after adequate notice and an opportunity for comment, such rules and regulations, as are reasonably necessary, relating to the retention of relevant records such as workpapers, doc-uments that form the basis of an audit or review, memoranda, cor-respondence, communications, other documents, and records (in-cluding electronic records) which are created, sent, or received in connection with an audit or review and contain conclusions, opin-ions, analyses, or financial data relating to such an audit or review, which is conducted by any accountant who conducts an audit of an issuer of securities to which section 10A(a) of the Securities Ex-change Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78j1(a)) applies. The Commission may, from time to time, amend or supplement the rules and regulations that it is required to promulgate under this section, after ade-quate notice and an opportunity for comment, in order to ensure that such rules and regulations adequately comport with the pur-poses of this section.

(b) Whoever knowingly and willfully violates subsection (a)(1), or any rule or regulation promulgated by the Securities and Ex-change Commission under subsection (a)(2), shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to diminish or re-lieve any person of any other duty or obligation imposed by Federal or State law or regulation to maintain, or refrain from destroying, any document.



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