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The Los Angeles Times: ChoicePoint Signals Stepped-Up Probe

Federal regulators may have intensified their probe of ChoicePoint Inc., the data broker under fire for disclosing sensitive information about at least 150,000 people to scam artists.On Monday, Alpharetta, Ga.-based ChoicePoint said in a quarterly filing that it had been notified that the Securities and Exchange Commission was conducting “an investigation” related to the unintended disclosures as well as stock sales by top executives.In its quarterly filing to shareholders three months earlier, the company said it had been contacted as part of an “informal inquiry” by the agency.Although that might appear to be a trivial change in wording, former SEC attorneys and other experts said it probably signaled an upgrade to a formal investigation authorized by the SEC commissioners.