Former President of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.'s (SEAS) - Get Report SeaWorld Orlando Terry Prather is aiding the federal government by giving evidence in a probe related to the possible cover-up of the full impact from the 2013 CNN film "Blackfish," the New York Post reported.
The Justice Department and SEC are investigating SeaWorld's "disclosures and public statements" from 2014 or earlier "regarding the impact of the 'Blackfish' documentary" on the company's stock, according to filings.
Prather, who was president of the Orlando property from 2010 to 2015, will cooperate with the regulators to "make sure that any person involved in covering up the problems at SeaWorld will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and that may include very senior figures," according to Prather's attorney Sal Strazzullo.
"Blackfish" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival before it was released nationwide in July 2013. The film detailed alleged mistreatment or orca whales at SeaWorld and came out shortly after Blackstone Group LP (BX) - Get Report took SeaWorld public in April that year. This probe aims to find out if SeaWorld tried to downplay the negative impact of the film ahead of its IPO.
SeaWorld shareholders sued the company in 2014, claiming SeaWorld executives deceived them by downplaying the full impact of the film before and after the IPO. The Justice Department put the civil litigation on hold while it carries out a "federal criminal investigation."
SeaWorld stock was down 0.3% in early trading Tuesday to $12.12.
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