- The Washington Times - Friday, February 20, 2009

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday named a former federal prosecutor as its new enforcement chief to lead the embattled agency’s drive to strengthen its pursuit of financial fraud.

Robert Khuzami has been a top legal official on Wall Street at investment firm Deutsche Bank since 2004. Before that, he worked for 11 years in the U.S. attorney’s office in New York and prosecuted insider trading cases, Ponzi schemes and other financial crimes.

Mr. Khuzami, 52, replaces Linda Thomsen, the SEC enforcement director since May 2005, who became a lightning rod for criticism over the SEC’s failure to detect the $50 billion Ponzi scheme purportedly run by former Wall Street wizard Bernard Madoff.

“As head of the SEC’s division of enforcement, the staff and I will relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those whose misconduct infects our markets, corrodes investor confidence and has caused so much financial suffering,” Mr. Khuzami said in a statement.

Besides leading several major financial fraud cases, Mr. Khuzami prosecuted the “Blind Sheik,” Omar Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman, in what was then the largest terrorism trial in U.S. history after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Ten defendants were convicted of operating a terrorist organization responsible for the bombing, the assassination of Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane, and planning other bomb attacks.

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