Vince McMahon’s WWE Silence Payments Under Federal Investigation

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks at the WWE Network press conference at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors launched an investigation into payments made world wrestling CEO Vince McMahon to settle allegations of sexual harassment according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, WWE revealed $14.6 million in previously unrecorded expenses personally paid by McMahon. announced his retirement on Friday. The company also hinted that the misconduct allegations, which are already subject to ongoing independent scrutiny by the board of directors, are under investigation by other organizations, but did not specify which agencies.

According to The Wall Street Journal, these federal investigations into McMahon hastened his exit from the company. McMahon, 76, is the company’s largest shareholder with a roughly 32% stake.

CNBC has reached out to WWE for comment.

McMahon allegedly paid the women nearly $15 million from 2006 to this year to ensure they keep quiet about alleged affairs and misconduct. WWE has said it will reflect unrecorded expenses in its 2019, 2020 and 2021 update, as well as the first quarter of this year when it reports second quarter earnings.

The company was supposed to report for August. 9, but changes could delay that, WWE said.

WWE shares rose more than 8% to hit a new 52-week high on Monday as investors became more optimistic about a potential sale of the wrestling and media company. The stock is up 45% this year, outpacing the S&P 500, which is down more than 16% in 2022.

Read the full report from The Wall Street Journal.