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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cox Explains Restitution Delays

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

The many fund industry executives who wonder when shareholders will see their share of the restitution pot regulators collected from misbehaving fund firms and others have a sympathizer. Chris Cox, the recently appointed SEC chairman, told Congress that the Commission has been too slow in returning the funds.

To date the SEC has collected more than $5 billion in fines and settlements from all sources, including the Wall Street analyst scandals and the more recent fund industry scandals.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, Cox offered his opinion in a November 14 letter to Rep. John Dingell (D., Michigan).

"I am attacking this problem head-on," Chairman Cox wrote. "The process of returning money to injured investors has, in my view, been rendered needlessly complex."

Cox also wrote that the he agrees with the Government Accountability Office's findings that few funds have been returned to date and explained that the SEC is updating its case-tracking system and preparing training programs for its staff.

Last summer the GAO published a report in which it found that the SEC had returned only about 1 percent of eligible funds to investors.  

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