- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission’s chief enforcement official says the agency has toughened its efforts to shut down financial misconduct after failing to act quickly in the cases of R. Allen Stanford and Bernard Madoff.

SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami says in testimony prepared for a Senate hearing that “we have moved aggressively” to put in place reforms recommended by the SEC inspector general. The IG found that the SEC knew since 1997 that Mr. Stanford likely was operating a Ponzi scheme but waited 12 years to bring fraud charges against the billionaire.

Mr. Khuzami also tells the Senate Banking Committee the SEC is working to provide “maximum recovery” to investors hurt in Mr. Stanford’s alleged $7 billion fraud.