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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Top-Level Exodus from the SEC Continues

News summary by MFWire's editors

And the exodus continues.

Robert Khuzami, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) enforcement unit, plans to leave the agency as soon as next month, according to both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

According to the WSJ, Khuzami, a former federal prosecutor, was recruited by former SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro in 2009 to lead the enforcement division, eliminating a layer of management and setting up specialized units to focus on hedge funds, market abuses and other areas.

Under Khuzami, the enforcement division cracked down on insider trading and brought 133 cases tied to the financial crisis, resulting in $2.6 billion in financial penalties.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that he oversaw some of the biggest settlements in SEC history. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed in July 2010 to pay $550 million over claims it misled investors about a mortgage-linked investment; Citigroup Inc. reached a $285 million settlement and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) forfeited $154 million for their roles in similar deals.

The newswire also notes that Khuzamiís tenure has seen criticism from lawmakers, judges and investors who say the agency hasnít been aggressive enough in holding top executives accountable for practices that led to a taxpayer bailout of the banking industry. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who presided over SEC cases against Citigroup and Bank of America Corp., has accused the agency of balking at bringing tough cases against high-ranking individuals in favor of reaching expedient settlements, according to Bloomberg.

To learn more about Khuzami's departure, go to Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg

Edited by: Tommy Fernandez


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