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Report: Fox News Being Investigated for Payments

Fox News is reportedly under investigation for the way it handled payments to women who accused the network of sexual harassment.

During a hearing on Wednesday, the lawyer for former Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros, who has sued the network, said another one of his clients had received a grand jury subpoena in a matter related to Fox News, according to the New York Times.

The lawyer, Judd Burstein, told the Times he believed federal investigators were looking at whether Fox News structured sexual harassment settlement claims by paying them as salaries, so they wouldn’t have to be reported.

The investigators were from the securities fraud division of the U.S. attorney’s office, according to Burstein.

“The court granted Fox News’ motion to send Andrea Tantaros’ case to arbitration, where it always belonged, and rejected her counsel Judd Burstein’s histrionics,” Fox News said in a statement. “Apparently one of Mr. Burstein’s other clients has received a subpoena. Neither Fox News nor [parent company] 21st Century Fox has received a subpoena, but we have been in communication with the U.S. Attorney’s office for months — we have and will continue to cooperate on all inquiries with any interested authorities.”

Fox News made millions of dollars’ worth of settlements to former employees including anchor Gretchen Carlson.

The issue led to the departure of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes last year. Ailes has denied any wrong doing.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.