SEC v. SeaWorld Entertainment and James Atchison and SEC v. Frederick D. Jacobs
SeaWorld Fair Fund
Case No. 1:18-CV-08480 and Case No. 1:18-CV-08482

Frequently Asked Questions


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  • On September 18, 2018, the SEC filed a Complaint against SeaWorld and Atchison. The SEC alleged that the defendants made untrue and/or misleading statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls, and other statements to the press regarding the impact of the documentary film Blackfish on the Company’s reputation and business (i.e., “Blackfish effect”).  According to the Complaint, released in July 2013, Blackfish criticized SeaWorld’s treatment of its orcas (killer whales) and received significant media attention that escalated as the film became more widely distributed.  The SEC alleged that, in connection with the offer and sale of SeaWorld stock, the defendants engaged in a course of business that by failing to disclose the Blackfish effect to investors they should have known would operate as a fraud or deceit upon the purchasers of the Securities.

    According to the Complaint, from January through March 2014, Atchison sold shares of SeaWorld stock, resulting in the inflation of the Security and allowed Atchison to avoid losses of approximately $730,860.  As alleged in the Complaint, on August 13, 2014, SeaWorld acknowledged for the first time that its declining attendance was, among other factors, partially caused by negative publicity connected to Blackfish. According to the Complaint, SeaWorld’s stock price fell approximately 33% following this announcement, causing a loss of approximately $830 million in shareholder value. On September 18, 2018, the SEC also filed a Complaint against Jacobs.

  • The Fair Fund consists of the $5.1 million, consisting of the civil penalty, disgorgement and interest paid by the Defendants, which is currently on deposit in an interest-bearing account at the United States Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service.  Any additional funds received pursuant to the Final Judgment will be added to the Fair Fund.

  • On December 15, 2020, the Court appointed Miller Kaplan Arase LLP (“Miller Kaplan”) as the Tax Administrator (the “Tax Administrator”) and authorized the SEC to pay all tax obligations and administrative fees and expenses of the Tax Administrator without further Court Order. The Court also appointed JND Legal Administration as the Distribution Agent (“JND” or “Distribution Agent”) for the Fair Fund to assist in overseeing the administration of the Fair Fund in coordination with SEC staff, pursuant to the terms of a Distribution Plan to be approved by the Court.

  • On May 22, 2023, the Court approved a plan for the distribution of the SeaWorld Fair Fund (the “Plan”). The Plan governs the administration and distribution of the Distribution Fund and sets forth the method and procedures for distributing the assets of the SeaWorld Fair Fund to investors harmed by the conduct alleged in the Complaint.  You can review and download the Plan on the Important Documents tab on this website.

  • The Eligible Security is set forth below.  Additional information can also be found in Exhibit A of the Distribution Plan, accessible on the Important Documents tab of this website.

    Company Name Trading Symbol(s) Relevant Period Start Date Relevant Period End Date
    SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. SEAS 12/20/2013 08/12/2014
  • Yes. In order to be considered for eligibility for a payment from the SeaWorld Fair Fund, you must submit a Proof of Claim Form (“Claim Form”), along with adequate supporting documentation. Your completed Proof of Claim Form, supporting must be sent to the Distribution Agent by First Class Mail or other delivery, as further described below: “How do I Submit a Claim”.  You can download the Claim Form from the Important Documents tab on this website.

  • You may submit your completed Claim Form by First Class Mail, postmarked no later than October 19, 2023, or, if not by First Class Mail, received by the Distribution Agent no later than October 19, 2023. Mailed and/or otherwise physically delivered Claim Forms should be directed to the following address:

    SeaWorld Fair Fund
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91190
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Please do not submit original documents and please retain a copy of what you submit. If you fail to timely submit a completed and signed Claim Form by the deadline, you may be deemed ineligible to receive a distribution payment from the SeaWorld Fair Fund. The Claim Form must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation for each transaction listed on the Claim Form.

    If you submit a Claim Form that fails to provide all required information, or is otherwise deficient, you may receive a Claim Status Notice advising you of the reason(s) why the claim is deficient and an opportunity to cure such deficiencies.

  • If you invested the Eligible Security during the Relevant Period (identified above: “What is the Security and the Relevant Period”; are not an “Excluded Party” as defined in the Distribution Plan and below: “Who is an ‘Excluded Party’ as Defined in the Distribution Plan”; and suffered a loss according to the Plan, you may be eligible for a distribution from the SeaWorld Fair Fund.

    To be considered for a Distribution Payment, you must timely submit a completed and signed Claim Form along with all relevant supporting documentation. If you believe you may be eligible for a distribution and are not an Excluded Party, you should timely submit a Claim Form.

  • The Defendants;

    Present or former officers of SeaWorld or any assigns, creditors, or controlled entities of any of the foregoing entities;

    Atchison and Jacobs and their heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, dependent children, sibliings, assigns, creditors, and controlled entities of any of the foregoing Persons;

    Any employee or former employee of SeaWorld or any of its affiliates who has been terminated for cause or has otherwise resigned, in connection with the conduct alleged in the Complaints;

    Any Person who, as of the Claims Bar Date, has been the subject of criminal charges related to the conduct alleged in the Complaints or any related Commission action;

    Any firm, trust, corporation, officer, or other entity in which any of the Defendants have or had a controlling interest;

    The Distribution Agent, its employees, and those Persons assisting the Distribution Agent in its role as the Distribution Agent; or

    Any purchaser or assignee of another Person's right to obtain a recovery from the Fair Fund for value; provided, however that this provision shall not be construed to exclude those Persons who obtained such a right by gift, inheritance or devise.

  • Each Potentially Eligible Claimant’s Recognized Loss will be calculated in accordance with the Plan of Allocation in the Distribution Plan under Exhibit A, and will be the basis for the Distribution Payments made to Eligible Claimants. You can download and review the Plan on the Important Documents tab on this website.

  • Additional information can be found by visiting the “Important Documents” tab visible at the top of this webpage and by contacting the Distribution Agent, toll-free, at 1-855-533-0228; emailing; or by mailing a letter to:

    SeaWorld Fair Fund
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91190
    Seattle, WA 98111

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

SeaWorld Fair Fund
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91190
Seattle, WA 98111