NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- CBL & Associates Properties (CBL) - Get Report stock is plummeting 12.28% to $9 on heavy trading volume early Wednesday afternoon, as the FBI and SEC investigate the real-estate firm for alleged accounting fraud, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
The officials are focusing on whether the Chattanooga, TN-based company falsified information on financial statements to banks when applying for financing, the Journal notes. They have talked to former employees who claim the company inflated rental income and its properties' occupancy rates when providing those figures to banks.
FBI and SEC officials have separately asked about CBL's relationship with Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Journal reports. Corker is close with senior executives and has made millions of dollars in profit trading the company's stock.
CBL has denied the allegations and stated that none of its executives have been contacted by a regulatory agency.
"We believe these allegations to be completely baseless and take very seriously any questions regarding our accounting and financial practices," the company said in the statement. "We strongly deny and will seek to understand the origin of these allegations."
About 11.41 million shares of CBL have been traded so far today vs. its average trading volume of roughly 1.63 million shares per day.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C.
CBL & Associates' strengths such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins are countered by weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: CBL
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.