Advance America CEO subject of probe

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The chief executive officer of Advance America Inc. is the subject of an ongoing insider trading investigation by US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report in The Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

Ken Compton, who is also president of the Spartanburg-based payday lender, has denied making any improper trades or engaging in any wrongdoing or “other improper activity,” the paper reported.

In a filing with the SEC on Wednesday, Advance America said it was informed on July 22 that Compton, and “certain individuals who are not officers, directors or employees” of Advance America received Wells Notices from the SEC, according to The Herald-Journal.

A Wells Notice is a notification from a regulator that it intends to recommend that enforcement proceedings be commenced against the prospective respondent.

According to the filing, the company did not receive a Wells Notice and does not believe it is the subject of this investigation.

The company said it understands SEC staff plans to recommend civil action alleging insider trading involving about $20,000 in losses avoided by third parties selling company stock during 2007, the paper added.

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