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Chutes And Ladders

The SEC filed its first up-the-ladder enforcement action since the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley on Sept. 23, 2004. The wrongdoer: John E. Isselmann Jr., former general counsel of Portland, Ore.-based Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (ESI). His misconduct: participating in a scheme to artificially inflate ESI's quarterly numbers.

Ironically, Isselmann himself was the one who blew the whistle on the company. But the SEC believes--despite a weak attempt to stop the misconduct and ultimately reporting the illegal activity five months later--his noble effort came a little too late.

staff Writer

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