A lawyer for former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros told a New York State Supreme Court judge that he had received a subpoena from federal prosecutors in relation to the sexual harassment scandal that forced the ouster of longtime Fox News chief Roger Ailes last July. “Once I saw it, I knew what was happening,” attorney Judd Burstein said in the proceedings, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “They were investigating whether Fox News violated securities laws by not reporting settlements to the Securities and Exchange Commission.” The subpoena did not concern Tantaros, but rather another client Burstein is representing.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the Southern District of New York U.S. attorney’s office, told this blog, “We’ll decline to comment.”

The occasion for Burstein’s statements was a hearing for Tantaros’s lawsuit filed last August against Fox News, Ailes and top network executives. In that civil action, Tantaros claimed that Ailes made offensive comments about her and otherwise mistreated her, all with the complicity of his lieutenants. Though he was not named as a defendant, top host Bill O’Reilly comes under fire in the filing for pursuing a romantic relationship with Tantaros, who had worked on the daytime programs “The Five” and “Outnumbered.”

Fox News responded to Tantaros’s complaint by seeking to steer it into an arbitration proceeding under the supervision of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) — the better to keep it out of the sunshine of the civil justice system. The network also alleged that the real reason for Tantaros’s fall from grace at Fox News was that she failed to comply with the network’s book guidelines for “Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable.”

New York Supreme Court Judge David Benjamin Cohen ruled that Tantaros’s complaint must indeed be moved to arbitration. As a side note, Gretchen Carlson, whose July sexual harassment suit triggered a flood of stories about Ailes’s conduct, received a large settlement and an apology and has taken to lobbying against arbitration clauses.

In the hearing, Burstein expressed his wish to amend the Tantaros suit by adding racketeering and electronic surveillance charges — a reference to the intelligence unit once operated by Ailes to spy on Fox News talent and critics. The judge told Burstein that he could not so amend the complaint.

As far as the network’s settlements go, there may be some material for inspection. Just last month, news broke that Fox News months ago had reached a pricey, hush-hush settlement with former on-air personality Juliet Huddy over sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly. At that time, veteran New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman noted that the network had inked settlements with at least four women since the departure of Ailes.

A Fox News statement on the matter reads like this: “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. Apparently one of Mr. Burstein’s other clients has received a subpoena. Neither FOX News nor [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.”

In her memoir “Settle for More,” recently departed Fox News star Megyn Kelly details how Ailes sexually harassed her not long after she started with the network in the mid-2000s. She had previously shared the story — which Ailes has denied — with a legal investigative team hired by 21st Century Fox not long after the Carlson suit, a not-insignificant element in understanding why Ailes was gone within a matter of weeks. Back in September, Sherman reported that more than two dozen women had raised sexual harassment allegations against Ailes. The implication? This particular scandal has a long and creepy tail.